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Boy, 12, charged with second-degree murder in 8-year-old sister's stabbing death

The 12-year-old brother of an 8-year-old girl stabbed to death in her home last month has been charged with second-degree murder, NBC station KCRA in Sacramento reported.

The small town of Valley Springs, Calif., is reeling after authorities made an arrest in the killing of 8-year-old Leila Fowler: her 12-year-old brother, who previously said a man broke into their house and killed his sister. NBC's Amna Nawaz reports.

His sister, Leila Fowler, was found in their Valley Springs home in Northern California on April 27 with knife wounds.

The brother, who reported the stabbing to police, told investigators that he had scared off a long-haired intruder.

The boy’s attorney, Mark Reichel, told KCRA Tuesday that the boy may have lied about the intruder, making up a "macho" story, but that didn’t mean he was a killer.

Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies searched several homes in the area in an attempt to gather evidence before arresting the boy on May 11. He is being held in a juvenile detention center.

Reichel told KCRA that he met with the boy in jail on Tuesday.

Police have not revealed what evidence they have in the case.

After the boy’s arrest on Saturday, Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz made a brief statement.

"Citizens of Calaveras County can sleep a little better tonight," Kuntz said, according to NBCBayArea.com.