Mark J. Reichel, one of the attorneys defending the boy accused of killing his sister Leila Fowler, had a hand decades ago in what was probably the highest-profile murder trial ever to come out of Calaveras County. That case was launched in the mid-1980s with the horrific discovery of the remains of up to 25 people at a hidden torture chamber near Wilseyville. Investigators said that Leonard Lake and Charles Ng were the killers. Lake committed suicide after he was arrested. Ng fled to Canada. It wasn’t until 1991 that Ng was returned to the United States for trial.
Reichel, then a recent graduate of University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, worked as a researcher on Ng’s defense team. Ng’s trial was eventually moved to Orange County where he was sentenced to death. Ng is still on Death Row at San Quentin.