Appeal Hearing Held In Jordan Brown Case
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jordan Brown was only 11-years-old when he was arrested and charged as an adult with killing his father’s pregnant fiancé.
A three judge panel of the Superior Court met in Pittsburgh to hear from both sides as to whether or not he should be tried as an adult.
Brown, 13, is now an adult in the eyes of the criminal justice system, but was only 11-years-old when he was accused of killing 26-year-old Kenzie Houk.
Superior Court judges had tough questions for lawyers on both sides of the Brown case.
Specifically, two judges questioned whether Brown has had his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination violated by a trial judge.
Lawrence County Judge Dominick Motto found that the boy showed no signs of remorse and did not take responsibility for his actions.
That was a factor in Motto’s decision that Brown was not amenable to treatment in the juvenile court system and should remain in the adult system.
Some of the appellate judges at Tuesday’s hearing wondered whether Brown would be forced to give up his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in order to be certified as a juvenile.
Prosecutors say the shooting death was cold and calculated and warrants adult court where he could face life in prison.
The defense argues the case should move back into the juvenile system where he would remain in custody until he is 21-years-old.
“I lost my baby and my grandson. My daughter’s not coming back. My two little girls lost a mother and a brother they waited on. So, what gives you the right to think that he can walk away? And they did nothing. So, my hope is that it’s done right and I’m sure it will. The system has been fair,” Houk’s mother, Debbie Houk, said.
The Superior Court judges will not issue a ruling today and it could take several weeks before they reach a decision.