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Sources: Suspect in sister’s death had knife at school, father believes he’s innocent

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By Dan Simon

(CNN) — A 12-year-old California boy accused of fatally stabbing his 8-year-old sister had been suspended from his middle school this year after being accused of bringing a small pocketknife there, according to a fellow student and a school administration source.

Police announced Saturday that the boy had been arrested on a homicide charge in the late April stabbing death of his sister, Leila Fowler, at their northern California home.

The boy’s father, Barney Fowler, told The Associated Press his family is standing behind the boy.

“Until they have the proper evidence to show it’s my son, we’re standing behind him,” he said. “If they have the evidence, well that’s another story. We’re an honest family.”

Before Leila’s death, the boy’s middle school in Valley Springs suspended him for five days after he brought a small pocketknife to school, according to one of the boy’s classmates. That account was backed up by a school administration source.

Authorities haven’t revealed what kind of knife was used in Leila’s death, which happened April 27 inside the family home in Valley Springs.

The death of Leila, known for her bubbly personality, shook the small town of Valley Springs, where ribbons in her favorite color of purple were tied to stop signs.

Leila’s brother had told police that he’d seen an intruder leaving the home. But Saturday, police announced that the boy had been arrested.

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