The ongoing trial of John Lee Cowell, the man who fatally stabbed a black woman while she minded her business at a California BART station is continuing on.
After already refusing to attend his trial for the killing of Nia Wilson, Cowell has been outed for telling a clinician about using the insanity defense in his case. The Mercury News reports that jailhouse phone calls were played of Cowell sounding seemingly “lucid” and “cheerful.”
During testimony Thursday, clinician Ian Vianu said Cowell also told him he was “feeling optimistic about the possibility of a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict.” Cowell has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for his charges of murder, attempted murder with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
“I want to look crazy,” Cowell said to Vianu at Santa Rita Jail in 2019 reports The Mercury News.
“Everything’s looking really good,” Cowell also said in a call last month to his aunt. “I think I’m headed on the right path.”
Cowell’s attorney is arguing that the stabbing of Nia Wilson was a “rash impulse” stemming from Cowell’s diagnosed mental illness, namely schizophrenia. In testimony last week Cowell said that he believed Nia Wilson and her sister were aliens who had kidnapped his grandmother, who passed away in 2018, and were going to harm her.
Testimony in the trial will continue Monday and is expected to finish Tuesday.