Court overturns then-11-year-old boy's conviction in slaying

Mail Online | 7/19/2018 | Associated Press
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Pennsylvania's highest court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a man who was 11-years-old at the time he shot dead his father's pregnant fiancée in 2009.

The state Supreme Court's 5-0 ruling clears 20-year-old Jordan Brown of wrongdoing, his lawyers say, in the slaying of 26-year-old Kenzie Houk, who was eight months pregnant when she was found dead in the family's rural western Pennsylvania farmhouse.

Finding - Juvenile - Court - Judge - Lawrence

It reversed a finding by a juvenile court judge in Lawrence County, upheld by a state appellate court, that Brown was guilty of first-degree murder and homicide of an unborn child. The court said prosecutors had not provided enough evidence to support it.

Justices attacked the evidence as insufficient, saying among other things that trial testimony pointing to a shotgun in Brown's bedroom as the murder weapon 'supported an equally reasonable conclusion' that it wasn't the murder weapon.

Houk - Bed - Pool - Blood - Shotgun

Houk was found lying in bed in a pool of blood with a shotgun blast to the back of her head, according to court papers.

Brown, now 20, was tried as a juvenile after his lawyers fought a judge's original decision to try him as an adult.

Lawyer - Brown - Kate - Burdick - Brown

A lawyer for Brown, Kate Burdick, said Brown - referred to in court papers as J.B. - has maintained his innocence since the murder and has now received 'long overdue justice.'

'While we can't give J.B. his childhood back, we are glad the Supreme Court has cleared his name so that he can move forward with a productive life,' Burdick said.

State - Attorney - General - Office - Appeal

The state attorney general's office, which was handling the appeal, declined comment.

Burdick would not discuss Brown's whereabouts, only saying that he was not in custody and that he had met all his treatment goals.

Judge - Brown - Probation - Custody - Uncle

In 2016, a judge put Brown on probation and in the custody of an uncle, who lives in Ohio.

Burdick said charging...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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