Awful Details About The 11-Year-Old Boy Who Murdered His Father’s Pregnant Fiancé — And Why His Conviction Was Just Overturned

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Jordan Brown

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Jordan Brown, who was convicted of murdering his father’s pregnant fiancée in 2009 when he was just 11 years old.

The court said that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to support the conviction, according to The Associated Press.

Brown was found guilty of first-degree murder and homicide of an unborn child in connection with the death of his father’s fiancée Kenzie Houk. Houk, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death, was found dead by her four-year-old daughter in the family’s farmhouse in Pennsylvania.

The 5-0 supreme court ruling exonerated Brown of all charges, overturning earlier findings by a Lawrence County Juvenile Court Judge that were upheld by the state’s appellate court. In their decision, justices questioned prosecutors’ reliance on circumstantial evidence, including a questionable conclusion that a shotgun found in Brown’s bedroom was the murder weapon.

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They also pointed out the lack of an eyewitness or credible forensic evidence as reasons for the decision.

Multiple members of Brown’s legal team have spoken out about the supreme court’s decision. Attorney Dennis Elisco told WPXI that he believes the supreme court made the right call in exonerating Brown, whose record he believes will eventually be expunged.

“We’re ecstatic, we believe professionally and personally in Jordan’s innocence,” Elisco told the station. “I hope the state police reopen their investigation and actually try to take their blinders off and find out whoever did this so that that family can have some closure and some justice.”

In an interview with New Castle News, Elisco addressed potential problems with how the case was investigated.

“I believe, I always have, that the attorney general’s office and state police rushed to judgment,” said Elisco. “They investigated for eight hours then charged an 11-year-old as an adult. That was a shame.”

He also did not rule out the possibility of filing a civil suit on behalf of Brown, saying, “If I find prosecutorial misconduct, we might find our way to the civil courts.”

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Attorney Katherine Burdick, another member of Brown’s defense team, discussed her reaction to the decision with local CBS station WKBN. ​She told WKBN that Brown has maintained his innocence from the beginning and expressed hopes for his future.

“Unfortunately, we can’t give him back the years that were lost, but we’re glad that the court’s ruling today will mean that further barriers to his moving forward with a successful life will be broken down."

Both lawyers also discussed key details about Brown’s whereabouts.

Brown, who has lived with his uncle since being put on probation in 2016, was not in police custody and had met all of his treatment goals, Burdick told The Associated Press. Elisco disclosed to WPXI that Brown is attending college at an undisclosed location under another name.

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Kenzie Houk’s family is speaking out against the decision. Houk’s father, Jack Houk, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he and his wife Debbie, who have raised Houk’s two daughters since her death, are distraught.

“My wife is so much in shock I think I’m gonna have to take her to the hospital. She’s bawling and crying,” Mr. Houk said. “We’re going through hell. The system is very, very wrong.”

Though Mr. Houk fully believes that Brown is the murderer, another possible suspect has been considered. According to The Associated Press, Kenzie Houk’s ex-boyfriend had a history of threatening her, and Houk and multiple members of her family had restraining orders against him.

The report also revealed that Houk’s ex-boyfriend had learned he was not the biological father of Houk’s youngest daughter just two weeks before the murder. In response, he allegedly confronted Houk’s parents in a nightclub the night before Houk's death.

In statements to the police, Jordan Brown claimed to have seen a black pickup truck parked by his home, resembling the one owned by the ex-boyfriend, on the morning of the murder. Despite this, prosecutors excluded the ex-boyfriend as a suspect during their initial investigation. 

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