Leila Fowler Death: Brother, 12, Charged With Second Degree Murder

Massive manhunt launched after boy told cops a man entered home, killed girl.

May 14, 2013 — -- The 12-year-old brother of Leila Fowler, the 8-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in her northern California home, has been charged with murder.

The boy, who has not been identified because he is a minor, was charged today with 2nd degree murder with special circumstances for using a dangerous weapon in the crime, ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco reported.

Officials from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office were not immediately available for comment on the charges.

Mark Reichel and Steve Plesser, attorneys from a firm hired by the boy's family to represent him, told ABC's Sacramento affiliate KXTV that they met with him today at a juvenile detention facility.

"He's actually doing very well right now," Plesser said. "As well as can be expected in these really difficult times."

The two attorneys said they plan to ask the court to allow the boy to return to his family.

On April 27, the boy told Valley Springs, Calif., authorities that he found his sister stabbed to death after an intruder broke into their home. The 12-year-old said he called his parents, who alerted sheriff's deputies.

The boy told authorities the intruder, whom he described as a tall man with a muscular build, fled the scene. The boy's description launched a 15-day manhunt that included door-to-door searches and divers in a reservoir.

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office in Northern California announced the arrest of the 12-year-old boy on May 10.

Neighbors in Valley Springs said they feared all along that Leila's brother -- not a mystery man the boy described -- might be responsible for the girl's stabbing death.

"It made us sadder, because he's just 12 years old," Barbara Barron told ABCNews.com. "The family has lost two children now."

Today the Calaveras County sheriff's office released the 911 call made by the fiancée of the father of Leila Fowler, which was placed at 12:13 p.m. on April 27.

On Monday the boy's father, Barney Fowler, told The Associated Press that his family is standing behind the boy "until they have the proper evidence to show it's my son."

The Fowler family canceled its request to provide a prepared statement to the media, which was originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today. No reason was given for the cancellation.