Convicted Teen Killer Who Fatally Shot Pregnant Woman With Shotgun When He was 11, Released
An 18-year-old convicted killer who fatally shot a pregnant woman when he was 11 has been released from juvenile custody in Pennsylvania, upsetting the victim’s family.
The mother of Kenzie Houk, who was 26 when she was murdered in 2009, and other relatives confirmed Monday’s decision by a Lawrence County judge to release Jordan Brown following a juvenile court hearing, which was closed to the public.
The court heard that Houk was sleeping when Brown crept into her bedroom with a 20-gauge shotgun and fired a bullet into her head because he was jealous that the new child would be given his room.
“It’s been seven years, and nothing’s been done,” Kenzie’s mother Debra Houk. “He hasn’t admitted to anything. He hasn’t received treatment or counseling. This is just too much. I’m done.”
In February of 2009, Jordan Brown approached Kenzie Houk with a shotgun hidden under a blanket and shot her in the back of the head as she lay in bed, prosecutors charge. Houk, already a mother of two and the fiancee of Brown’s father, was eight months pregnant with a son, who also died.
The boy was charged as a juvenile and ruled “delinquent,” the juvenile court equivalent of guilty, for shooting Houk.
The conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court later overturned the superior court’s ruling.
Last year Brown’s lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the charges or grant him a new juvenile court trial. The judge refused, and last month Brown’s lawyers argued in superior court for dismissal or a new trial, according to the newspaper.
Brown’s lawyer called Monday’s ruling releasing him “favorable,” but says the court will periodically review his status.
The Lawrence County judge released Brown to the custody of a relative in Mahoning County in Ohio. Brown must remain on parole until he’s 21, and during that time he is not allowed to enter Lawrence County, the paper reported.
Debra Houk says Mahoning County is still too close for comfort despite being in a different state.
“My granddaughters — now 11 and 15 — shop there,” she told the Tribune-Democrat. “That is only 20 minutes from my home. I don’t want them accidentally running into him over there. I’d be more comfortable if he was not so close to Pennsylvania.”
Houk told the newspaper she is planning to move. “You do what you’ve got to do,” she said. “Right now, I just don’t feel safe. I can’t help how I feel.”
Brown, who has been living in a halfway house, recently graduated from high school, the Tribune-Democrat reported. He intends to go to college in western Pennsylvania.
Kenzie Houk’s mother told the paper her anger has lessened over the years, “but I’m tired of hearing how well (Jordan) is doing.”
“They say he’s gone through their programs and has been rehabilitated,” she told the Tribune-Democrat. “His needs have been met. He’s changed his name and will go to college; his education is paid for. But no one’s done anything for Kenzie’s daughters. They have just had me to tend to their needs. I have done the best I could, but is that fair? I don’t think so. The system has failed my girls.”