Appeal Hearing Held In Jordan Brown Case

By: Harold Hayes

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.


One Comment

  1. Ryan says:

    Lock this monster up and throw away the key. He killed at 11 years old, he’ll do it as an adult. There’s something not wired right up in that brain.

    1. Pavel, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia says:

      Shame on your country! Better kill the boy – it would be less cruel than life sentence. Do you understand what is the life sentance since 11 years old? Even the 7th years old could make the crime and understand it. Would you put a 7 years old in the prison untill the end of his life? A 6, 5 ,4 years old?
      He could understand his mistake in the future, could not. But he is a CHILD. This is an awfull tragedy. But these are ADULTS who are responsible for his behaviour, for his raising, for uncontrolled weapon in their house. He was just a CHILD when he comitted a crime. The only he could deserve now is a good flogging and special treatment. If you don’t see a difference between a child and the adult and couldn’t forgive the first one – your country really have no the future.
      In my country the fact of such discussion is impossible itself. Maximum what could get an 11 years old – 3 years in a closed school (too soft, i think). Since 14 years – 10 years serving in a prison.

      1. generon says:

        i cant believe people are actually saying “poor kid” “poor child” “he deserves a second chance!” thats bull. that poor child that he MURDERED deserved at least one chance in life and did he get it? no, because of some psychopath with a shotgun. idc how old this kid is. when i was his age i certainly knew that pulling a trigger to a gun would kill someone. this kid needs to be throw in jail for life. id personaly be afraid knowing this kid got out of jail knowing hes on the streets and considering he shows no remorse he’s likely to do it again. he got his chance at life and he wasted it. thats his problem. ya know what? if thats the case why dont we let all the serial killers of america out for a second chance! its not about chance. he did an adult crime he needs to pay the adult price.

    2. ALIP says:

      I am totally against Life in Prison. I don’t think he should spend not one day in prison when found guilty. I think he should be taken and placed against a wall and shot. Why should the taxpayers of Pennsylvania pay for him to sit in a cell for the rest of his life and be furnished with 3 hots and a cot not to mention being clothed. The way I see it is that the cost of 1 bullet is much more cost effective than 60yrs of support. No matter your age, if you act like an adult, you get tried as an adult and you get sentenced as an adult.

  2. steelers says:

    Little punk, he needs sent away for life. He is a goof

  3. LK says:

    He knew what he was doing, there is no question to that. If he can commit murder at such a young age, who knows what he is capable of when he is older. He does need locked up.

    1. really? says:

      He was 11 yrs old!!! How did he know what he was doing!?!

      1. LK says:

        He was trained to shoot and hunt, he knew what a gun was for. He was jealous of the new baby, this was all brought out. An 11 year old is much brighter then you think. He knew when he pulled the trigger it would kill. I do not buy for one moment he didn’t know what he was doing. When this happened, I spoke to a group of 9-12 year olds and they ALL stated they knew it would kill someone. You think too old fashioned.

  4. mary V. says:

    There is no question that he was and still is a child. He should be tried and locked in a juvenile detention with all the important differences from adult prisons, like mandatory school, associated with juvenile detention. However, it is the requirement that juvenile detainees be released at 21 that should be changed. At 21, he should go to adult prison, not at 11. A 13 year old has no business in an adult lockup, regardless of the crime. We need to change juvenile detention system, not lock up children as adults.

    1. Ryan says:

      Mary, I am fine with that, but as soon as he is 18, he needs to go straight to prison, with no chance of parole. Unfortunately, the way the law is, he will get out if tried as a child at 21, released like nothing ever happened.

  5. rm says:

    there is no question that if he did it he should be punished for it but first someone needs to prove he did it so far there s no solid evidence that he has done anything but everyone s ready to put him away, just because he was there .maybe they should be spending more time on finding out who did it for sure and spend less time trying to put the blame on the closest one, to same them work.there s been to many cases with lack of police work to find the right one who did it.and if he did do it there no way an 11 year old should be in an adult prison just what is it gonna accomplish is it gonna change him in any way no..

    1. Dan says:

      Dont blame the police for this you stupid idiot! Punish the kid. I hate you liberals. Your why our country is going down the toilet .

      1. Tata says:

        And ignorant people that do not know the difference between your and you’re. Your denotes the possession of you. You’re is a contraction meaning “you are”.

  6. Citizen22 says:

    I feel horrible for this kid. This is nothing but a sad case of horrible parenting. Sure he “knew” what he was doing in an 11yr olds eyes…but where was the parenting & guidance from his father. Even though he ‘knew’ what he was doing at the age of 11 you are not capable of understanding the magnitude of pain such action will cause. Whether he is trialed as an adult (which should be illegal) or a juvenile his father should be right there beside him in jail. The father is just as guilty as he is for failing his son.

    1. FixPGH says:

      dear God here we go with “blame the parents.” Every time there is a story about children being harmed or harming someone else it’s always “Where are the parents!?”

      You do realize sometimes some kids have everything, have all the love and guidance in the world and still do horrible things. There can always be a bad egg.

      I hate seeing this little boys picture, reminds me of my brother when he was a kid. The kid actually looks a little scared, or even a little lost. Are they 100% sure he did it though? No mention of evidence, a confession, anything.

      1. cop says:

        he confessed

  7. sam says:

    When I was 11,the thought of actually murdering anyone or stealing a car never entered my mind. And also,How is the adult that granted him access to that shotgun not in jail ???…….Lock him up….Juvy hall and then adult prison at 18

  8. dansuxs says:

    Horrible parenting indeed, what kind of idiot give an 11-year-old child a shotgun as a gift. And if you are going to have firearms around children they should be properly locked up.

  9. PH says:

    Its a shame all that has happened but I agree..He should remain in jail for the rest of his life. but I am sure that wont happen and we will see his name and face again when he murders again..

  10. mandy says:

    I want to know why Jordan’s father was when theis all happened. I think he should be equally responable as Jordan. Weather or not he did it. No one really knows. But Why did his father let him have a gun in his room or have access to it while his dad was not home. The firearms should be in a gun safe or put up. There was little girls there they could of pick one up. So why not be parents and put them up where Children couldn’t get them. Come on now if my children skipp school then I have to pay a fine. So I feel that Jordan’s father should be sentenced to. If you give your children guns then you take the responiablilty of what happens.

  11. LK says:

    If he stays in Juvenile, fine, but after that, no way should be be released. For everyone who says he is just a child, what would you say when he kills again? Maybe another pregnant woman? The look on his face from all the shots on TV showed he figured, “I’ll get away with this, cause I will act like a little boy” It’s that smug, weird expression that I hate. It shows he has no remorse and he doesn’t care cause he got his own way, no new baby.

    1. FixPGH says:

      What smug expression? He looks scared to me. Like he doesn’t know whats going on. I feel bad for this little boy. Was there ever a supposed motive reported? Did the woman maybe do something to him that angered or hurt him? Maybe she hit him a few times? We are all attacking this kid based on reports that don’t even give us evidence or a reason.

      1. dan says:

        you liberal idiot make some more excuses for a murderer.

  12. T$ says:

    Yes, he should be in jail for the rest of his life; first juvenile, then adult once he turns 18 or 21 or whatever it is.
    But let’s leave the father out of it. I’m sure he did his best. I’m sick of everyone blaming “parenting” every time some moron does something wrong. The people that commit the crimes should be the ones held responsible. If I get a speeding ticket, I don’t blame my mommy. No one is accountable in this country anymore.
    @RM: Yeah, there was no question he did it. go back and look at the original news reports. There was no conspiracy here with cops deciding to pin a murder on an 11 year old just for $hits and giggles. lemme guess, you’re some anti-police, anti-government wingnut, right? Thought so. OJ was framed too.

  13. Karla120 says:

    Did any of you haters stop to think that he is mentally ill? He may need a lot of psychiatric help and instead you want to see a kid sentenced to death. From what I read of this case, he had a terrible upbringing and no guidance what so ever. Where was his real mother? Why were there loaded guns in the house?Why was the dad’s shack up girlfriend sleeping while this child was getting her kids ready for school? To me, he looks more scared and confused than the cold bloode killer you all portray him as. Who knows what went on behind the closed doors? He could have been abused and shunned once his irresponsible dad took up with another woman which is usually the case. No excuse for murder, but the child is not right and needs to be treated medically and with compassion.

    1. Ryan says:

      If he is mentally ill he needs to stay locked up. No wackos running around the world, please.

    2. Sara Sams says:

      Karla , I agree with you. These ppl who are posting all the hate probably have Criminal records their self. If he did it why did he not run ? Maybe Dad put him up to it. Their was a movie on TV where a Father put his daughter up to shooting his girlfriend so the father could be with his girlfriends little sister. Because Dad said the court would go easy because his daughter was only 12 yrs old. In the end the daughter turned on her father and now he is in Prison for life for having his daughter murder his girlfriend..

      1. T$ says:

        Do you know how crazy you sound? This isn’t a movie on Lifetime. This is reality. What a horrible thing to just ASSUME about the father. You should be ashamed.

      2. Sara Sams says:

        T$ . Guess you dont watch movies on Lifetime. its been on Lifetime three times. It is a True Story. I know these ppl I know this is reality. The girlfriend was around if you know what im saying. Some parent dont give a damn about their children. And no im not ashamed for the right to think what might of happened.

      3. T$ says:

        @Sara S: You’re right, I don’t watch Lifetime. I don’t share a house with 30 cats. I’m not a lonely spinster. So whether this movie was aired 3 times, or 300 times, that doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to suggest a father put his 11 year old son up to murder his girlfriend and unborn child. That’s sick. And what’s worse is the insinuation that because the victim “was around” (Your words. I guess you were trying to say “gets around”?) that she somehow deserved to die. If something tragic ever happens to you or yours, maybe people will make horrible assumptions about you, and you can find out what it’s like. Heres hoping.

      4. FixPGH says:

        T Money as I’m guessing your lame posting name means – everyone on here should be ashamed for jumping on this little boy they way they are. I am not reading anything that even gives a reason or evidence that it was him, or why he did it. And yes, it is possible bad things were going on behind closed doors and it made him snap, sorry to say but Lifetime movies are sometimes based on things that have happened, so yes, it is possible it’s messed up from his upbringing. But we weren’t there so we have no way of knowing, do we?

    3. samantha Klingensmith says:

      excuses..amazing! he killed someone in their sleep

  14. ?? says:

    @ LK. Of course he knew a gun would kill. Even a 3yr old child knows a gun will kill. No child (even @ 11) is mature enough to understand the magnitude of the decision they are making when they pick up the gun & kill someone with it. If that were not the case wouldn’t the world be selling guns to all ages…as long as they know it will kill…This is why guns are not supposed to be in children’s hands…whether they know it will kill or not. How often do siblings say to each other “I wish you didn’t even exist” They are not saying they want to kill their sibling…they are only angry & expressing themselves in a child’s manner/maturity level.

    1. mandy says:

      I agree That is why I feel that the parents are responible for there children

      1. GrammarPolice says:

        Hey Mandy, were your parents responsible for teaching you grammar and punctuation because they didn’t do a very good job.

  15. Schaeffmama says:

    The cop who’s little boy accessed his service weapon has been charged with endangerment and other charges. So should this child’s father. I agree with most saying Jordan should go to Juvy and then on to adult prison once he reaches 18. However, while he’s at juvy, actually growing up, what if he actually learned the true magnitude of his crime and he actually has remorse and could actually be rehabilitated to be a responsible citizen? Even adult murderers have a chance for parole…..

    1. coph8er says:

      cops have no rights they all should be locked up

  16. Sara Sams says:

    I see all the idiots have posted on this story. I remember back in 1978 when a Double Murder took place on Wilmington Rd New Castle,Pa. The cops know who did it but never arrested either one of the men who killed my friend and four yr old daughter. But you all want to send this dhild to Prison and try him as an Adult. Look futher into the story and see where his parents were at the time of the Shooting. This child never had a chance since birth. i hope he gets tried as a Juvenile that he was and still is.

    1. HMMMMMM? says:

      well why dont you go make a citizens arrest with all the evidence?

  17. Karla120 says:

    Not every mentally ill person is a “wacko” as you call them. probably 50% of sociey has some form of mental illness.

  18. Nick Manning says:

    alot of hate in that kids eyes, he will need many yrs of therapy. why in the heck is an 11 yr old so mad? hes 11 what problems could he have. at that age.

    1. FixPGH says:

      What are you talking about? He looks scared and confused.

      I know everyone is going to attack me for my opinions on here, if he did it, then he should definitely be tried but I just feel bad for him because of how young he is. Plus I think everyone coming on here and saying the horrible things you are saying without knowing the entire situation is disgusting. There is never an excuse for murder, but sometimes people snap and they can’t help it.

      1. LK says:

        That is NOT the look of scared, that is the look of Go to H$%L

  19. dandailey says:

    This child is completely innocent, and the victim of bad police work and a mixing of electoral politics and perversion of justice. The media have been misreporting this story all along.

    For the true facts about the case, visit and read articles going back a year revealing the identity of the probable killer, murder weapon, etc.

    All the evidence coming back from the crime lab clears Jordan.

    1. T$ says:

      Your link goes to some goofball’s diary. I don’t think this counts as “facts.”

    2. enough says:

      Sorry, he admitted to doing it. Don’t believe you

      1. enough? says:

        Link to story saying he did it?

      2. enough says:

        It was all over the TV. If you research enough of the local stations information, you will find it.

  20. brendan says:

    now i am 100% pro-life in every aspect of its meaning so i bring this question to the table. if this boy is trialed as an adult he will be charged with 2 accounts of murder, one for the woman and one for her baby, which i AGREE with. but how is it that a woman can abort her own baby and suffer no consequences? life is lost in both scenarios so why isnt it equally wrong? some might say its because their lives were forcefully taken which is true but isnt it the same for an aborted fetus? life is the most precious thing we have in this world and should never be taken away, but yet its legal in certain situations, why? is one better then the other? its a contradiction and something needs to change..please comment, im curious to hear responses.

    1. FixPGH says:

      I’m pro-life and I think the biggest argument is when a fetus is in its early stages, they say it doesn’t feel pain and constitutes abortion as being painless and not harming an actual living thing because babies are supposedly not human until they come out of the womb. It’s a disgusting and disturbing argument since a fetus can have a heartbeat at time of abortion, so to me – that’s living.

  21. EmoGirl says:

    He’s a kid for christ sakes he shouldn’t be put in prison for his whole life. He deserves a second chance at life, i understand he took 2 lives but whose to say what happened behind closed doors.

  22. Don'tMess With Texas says:

    @Emo girl are u freaking serious? He walked up behind a woman was with child with a shotgun put it to the back of her head and blew it off killing her and her unborn child. Yet he doesn’t derserve life in prison? That is some backward mess right there. That little sicko knew exactly what he was doing and even till this day he doesn’t feel sorry about what he did. What ifthis happend to someone in your family/ Would you still say he’s just a kid or would you want justice to be served? How would you feel knowing that one bleeding heart judge might let him go free when he’s 18 with just a slap on the wrist? It doesn’t matter what went on behind closed doors it does not justify him killing two people. OMG I hope and pray that they try him as a adult and have him rot in prison for the rest of his life. He said he hated them because they were taking attention away from himand he wanted them gone. That remark shows forethought with malice which means he meant to do it. Well this wouldn’t even be up for a debate down here in Texas. We would have but the little monster on death row as soon as he turned 18.

    1. FixPGH says:

      Texas – There isn’t any proof it was definitely him though, a lot of reports are saying police are jumping on him because of what the woman’s daughter said, when really the victim was being threatened by her ex boyfriend or something, it was probably him and not even the little boy that did this.

  23. Don't Mess With Texas says:

    Sorry for the typos her comment really heated me up

  24. LK says:

    No matter what you say, this kid is dangerous. How many of you would allow him to walk into your house? Would you trust him with a gun again? What if you took him in and had a younger child and he became jealous? At this point, he has killed. If he does not pay, he will learn that he can get away with anything. I would never trust this kid ever again.

    1. ?? says:

      LK, Yes, I would take this kid into my home. No, I would not trust him with a gun…nor would I trust any child with a gun! That is really a dumb question… “Would you trust him with a gun again?” This kid has been ruined by his father. The poor child needs nothing but guidance, structure, & love. Unfortunately these are things he’s never been given & now at this point will never have.

  25. ya right says:

    This kid needs locked up and the key thrown away. ?? what if he killed a family member of yours with another weapon, a kitchen knife say? Would you still say he needs love and guidance?

  26. Her says:

    I trust no matter what he won’t do it again.

  27. Want to know the truth says:

    If I’m not mistaken the stories I have read state that he would not admit guilt and did not show remorse and that is why he was to be tried as an adult. The juvenile experts believed that if he was not willing to admit to what he did then he could not be rehabilitated. If that is the case I think it is a crock. He is entitled to the fifth ammendment and if he did not do it, yet admitted to it he would be convicted off of his confession. Yet if he doesn’t admit to it and he didn’t do it he will be tried as an adult and sentenced to life. I would love to see more of the investigation. This forum was the first I heard of an ex boyfriend. If anyone knows any links other than the one above please post it.

  28. someone who knows says:

    I work in the Juvenile Justice System. According the The Juvenile Act, a child who commits a crime – ANY CRIME – at the age of 10 or younger, that crime is not a matter of delinquency, it is a matter of dependency, or whether CYF should be involved and that child becomes a ward of the state. Why does this law protect children 10 or younger, but not an 11 year old? This kid is disturbed, yes, but does he really deserve life in prison? The question isn’t whether he should spend his entire life in prison, the question is whether he can be rehabilitated. If he is tried as an adult, that is it, there is no going back, unless (by some miracle) his appeal is overturned. If he is tried as a juvenile, he will be released at age 21, with seven years of the mental health services and rehabilitation. I thank GOD that many of you are not this kid’s judge and you will not decide his fate.

  29. Harold says:

    This kid murdered his Father’s pregnant fiancé in her sleep. He was old enough to know right from wrong. He knew it wasn’t a video game where he could just hit the ‘reset’ button to start over. He made a conscious decision to retrieve a shotgun, walk into the room where she was sleeping and pull the trigger. He forfeited the right to be called an ‘innocent child’ with that act. The only problem I have with giving him a life sentence with no possibility of parole is what it will cost the taxpayers to keep him the rest of him life.

  30. Dr Michael says:

    Guilty. Period. Life in proson, no chance of parole. I’m tired of the legal mumbo jumbo, maybe his rights were violated…gimme a break. We must stand up, what is wrong is wrong. GUILTY

  31. Angel413 says:

    First of all many of you do not know what type of person Kenzie Houk was. A dancer at adult club, numerous boyfriends, two other children to two different men. She claimed the one child belonged to her former boyfriend, after she died, the old boyfriend finally was ablt to get DNA, child not his. Both girls are clueless to whom their fathers are. Jordan had to dress for school in Kenzie’s bedroom as this is where his clotthing was, he did this each and everyday. How do any of you know what she may have done to this boy????? This boy was a good student, something made him snap, if he killed Kenzie there had to be a reason, she had to have done something to this child. She met Jordan’s father one month and was pregnant next. If you ask me she was looking for a meal ticket, but Jordan was in her way. Her family tormented this boy endlessly. There are witness to all of this.

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