Ruling reversed in Jordan Brown case - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ruling reversed in Jordan Brown case

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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP)- An appeals court has overturned the guilty verdict against 15-year-old western Pennsylvania boy accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancee and her unborn child when he was 11-years-old.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court said that Jordan Brown's conviction was "plainly contrary to the evidence" and that the case should go back to Lawrence County juvenile court.

The boy's lawyer, Stephen Colafella, said the defense team was "pleased but not shocked" with the decision.

Colafella said they always felt that the state had insufficient evidence against Brown and that other people may have been involved in the shooting.

Colafella said he's not sure whether the defense will ask for Brown's release, pending a new trial.

The boy has been in juvenile detention since a judge ruled in April 2012 that Brown was delinquent - the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict - in the 2009 deaths of Kenzie Houk, 26, and her unborn son. Houk was shot in the back of the head with Brown's .20-gauge youth model shotgun. The shooting occurred after the boy's father left for work.

Brown and Houk's two daughters, ages 7 and 4, were also in the house. 

WXPI in Pittsburgh spoke with the victims father, Jack Houk, who said, "I don't know if I can go through all this again, it's hurtful." 

The case grabbed headlines due to the chilling nature of the crimes and the ill-fitting Pennsylvania laws governing juvenile homicide suspects, which prompted two Superior Court appeals. 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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