A 27-year-old transient is facing murder charges following his arraignment Wednesday for allegedly stabbing a girl to death at the MacArthur BART station over the weekend. John Lee Cowell allegedly killed 18-year-old Nia Wilson and seriously injured her 26-year-old sister as the women stepped onto the BART platform Sunday night.
Evidence at the scene, including surveillance footage, led police to Cowell, who was arrested Monday at the Pleasant Hill BART station. He is charged with murder and premeditated attempted murder, but he did not enter a plea.
Court records show the stabbings aren't Cowell's first run-in with the law. He was convicted of second-degree robbery in 2016 and assault with a deadly weapon in 2012. Both cases were tried in Contra Costa County.