PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The family of a pregnant woman who was allegedly killed by her fiancé’s 11-year-old son wants his trial to be open to the public and media.
Lawyers for three local newspapers, the prosecution and the defense for Jordan Brown went to court over the issue.
A three-judge panel from Pennsylvania’s Superior Court heard the arguments.
The defense lawyer and the prosecutor argued that it was within the discretion of a Lawrence County judge to close the door on the juvenile court case of Brown.
He was first charged as an adult in the shooting death of Kenzie Houk and the proceedings were public.
However, once an appeals court put the case in juvenile court, the judge said he had the discretion to keep the hearing closed.
The Houk family disagrees.
“The media does need to be in there,” Debbie Houk, the victim’s mother, said. “People have every right knowing – they’ve known since day one. It’s been publicized since day one and I do have two little children there that I need to protect.”
“The public has a right to be able to proceed to hear this matter to the end,” Fredrick Frank, the attorney for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said.
Under current law, the trial of anyone 12 and older is automatically made public if they are charged with homicide.
Brown was 11-and-a-half when he was charged.
There’s no word on when the Superior Court will rule.