NEW CASTLE (KDKA) – The trial for a young boy accused of murdering his father’s pregnant fiancée began Tuesday morning.
Jordan Brown was just 11-years-old when police claim he killed 26-year-old Kenzie Houk and her unborn baby.
Brown is now 14-years-old and is being tried as a juvenile.
“We want him released now because he’s lost his childhood, he has maintained his innocence and he didn’t do this and they need to find the real killer and what is sad is I don’t think they investigated it – ever – and that’s sad,” Cynthia Wiseman, Jordan Brown’s great aunt, said.
After three years of legal wrangling, the trial got underway Tuesday. It is closed to the media and anyone who is not family or directly related to the case.
“It’s been way too long,” Janet Fulkerson, a friend of the victim’s family, said. “This family needs some time to heal.”
In 2009, 11-year-old Brown, allegedly shot Houk in the head with a shotgun and then went to school.
On Tuesday, representatives from both families arrived at the Lawrence County Courthouse for the start of the trial.
The victim’s family was surrounded by local bikers and other family friends. Some of them wore t-shirts to support the family.
Houk’s father is glad the case is finally moving forward.
“We’ll see and hope justice prevails. Finally, after three years we’re going through this and we’ll be able to get in there, give our testimony and whatever happens, happens. If we’re allowed to say anything afterwards, if they don’t put a gag order on us, we’ll tell you everything we know,” Jack Houk said.
The defense, which is likely to try to use expert testimony that the boy can be rehabilitated, is expected to begin its case Wednesday.
“All I can say is that we put a lot of evidence on today and we should be winding up our part of the case tomorrow, but I really can’t give any more detail about it since we’re in juvenile court,” Anthony Krastek, the prosecutor, said.
It’s possible the trial will conclude by the end of this week.
At the end of the juvenile court proceeding, the judge will have to make some decisions, including whether Brown should remain in the juvenile system until he’s 21.
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