Pa. boy ordered into state custody for 2009 deaths

AP News
Posted: May 18, 2012 5:33 PM
Pa. boy ordered into state custody for 2009 deaths

A 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancée and her unborn child will be sent to an undisclosed juvenile facility where he could remain in state custody until his 21st birthday.

Jordan Brown, who was 11 at the time of the slayings, was ordered by a Lawrence County judge on Friday to be transferred to a treatment center. The teenager is to be evaluated every six months to determine if he should be released.

The judge last month found Brown delinquent, the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict, in the February 2009 deaths of 26-year-old Kenzie Houk and her unborn son.

Houk, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, was shot in the back of the head with Brown's .20-gauge youth model shotgun as she slept. At the time, she was engaged to Jordan Brown's father, Christopher Brown, and pregnant with his son.

The shooting occurred after the boy's father left for work, with only Jordan Brown and Houk's two daughters, ages 7 and 4, inside the New Castle house. State police investigators say they found a spent shotgun shell dropped along a path that Brown walked with Houk's older daughter to catch a bus to school minutes after the shooting.

Defense attorney Stephen Colafella said no decisions have been made on whether to appeal.

Judge John Hodge approved a recommendation from the Lawrence County Juvenile Probation Department for Brown's placement and treatment. Prosecutor Anthony Krastek said the specifics will not be released.

The criminal case drew attention to Pennsylvania laws governing juvenile homicide suspects and prompted two Superior Court appeals, including an unsuccessful attempt by western Pennsylvania newspapers to open the trial to the public even though the judge had the discretion to close the case because the defendant was under 12 when the killings occurred.