Conviction Overturned for 11-Year-Old in Shotgun Murder of Dad's Pregnant Fiancee

July 19, 2018
By: Catherine Townsend

Jordan Anthony Brown in a mug shot taken when he was 11 years old

Photo by: Lawrence County Prison

Lawrence County Prison

Jordan Anthony Brown in a mug shot taken when he was 11 years old

WAMPUM, PA — Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned the murder conviction of Jordan Brown, for the 2009 shotgun killing of his father’s pregnant fiancée — which took place when he was an 11-year-old boy.

Jordan Brown was cleared in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Kenzie Houk after the court stated that prosecutors had not provided enough evidence to support the conviction, according to the AP.

Houk was eight months pregnant when she was found dead in the family’s rural western Pennsylvania farmhouse.

A juvenile-court judge in Lawrence County found Brown guilty of first-degree murder and homicide of an unborn child. The decision was later upheld by a state appellate court. But the state Supreme Court’s decision reversed these decisions.

According to his lawyers, Brown, now 20, has maintained his innocence since the murder.

Brown’s lead defense attorney Dennis Elisco told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that Brown would now be “exonerated from any responsibility for these two horrific crimes, and he will have his record expunged and the charges dismissed.”

In 2016, a judge put Brown on probation. He was put into the custody of an uncle who lives in Ohio, and is now reportedly a full-time college student.

The court’s decision said state police searched for Houk’s ex-boyfriend because he had a history of making threats of violence against her. Additoinally, Houk, her parents, sister, and brother-in-law all had permanent restraining orders against him. Reportedly, he had confronted Houk’s parents the night before she was killed after finding out he was not the biological father of Houk’s youngest daughter, according to court papers.

However, according to police, the ex-boyfriend was excluded as a suspect. Neither Kenzie Houk’s family nor the state attorney general’s office have commented on the decision.

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