PA Supreme Court asked to order new trial for Jordan Brown - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

PA Supreme Court asked to order new trial for Jordan Brown

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has been asked to grant a new trial to 16 year old Jordan Brown who was found guilty of murdering his father's pregnant girlfriend when he was 11 years old.

Prosecutors for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Brown's defense attorneys argued before the high court Wednesday morning.

21 News was the only local television station that traveled the distance for the hearing.

What's at issue in the appeal to the Supreme Court is a lower court's decision to overturn Brown's conviction because of an error made by the trial judge.   Prosecutors argue that the judge did not make a mistake and they are asking the court to uphold Brown's conviction.

Brown was found "delinquent," the equivalent of guilty in juvenile court in Pennsylvania for the shotgun murder of 26 year old Kenzie Houk and her unborn son.

Brown's defense attorney Dennis Elisco told the Supreme Court Justices that investigators never searched the perimeter of the snowy yard outside the house where Houk was shot for footprints, or explored what might have happened after Brown left for school.  Houk was shot in the back of the head with the boy's youth model shotgun.

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Barker said there's no evidence that anyone else committed the crime.

Brown was not present in the courtroom for the proceeding, but his father was there, as were family members of the victims.

At one point during the hearing Justice Debra McCloskey Todd who was asking questions of both the prosecution and the defense said, "It doesn't seem the investigation was completely thorough."

Defense Attorney Elisco had this to say after the hearing was over, "It seems to me that the Supreme Court is divided, and I do agree Justice Todd's comments did suggest that perhaps we're going to prevail on this appeal.  On the other hand Justice J. Michael Eakin had some difficult questions for me.  So I think they may have a lot of room for discussion and they may be split."

According to Elisco, Jordan Brown is a sophomore in school now, stands 6'1" or 6'2" and at 16-years-old is "... really flourishing in the academic environment."

At least five members of murder victim Kenzie Houk's family traveled to Philadelphia.  Her sister, Jennifer Kraner says "Everytime we have to go through this it's a mix of emotion that are almost unbearable for me and my family.  Two girls lost their mother.  I just pray and I trust that the right decision will be made and that we can -- if it makes any sense, start to move forward in hopes that this young boy (Jordan Brown) is getting help because that has never yet been addressed."

The Supreme Court could take weeks, months even up to a year to rule on the request for a new trial.  In the meantime, Brown continues to be held in a juvenile detention facility in Grove City.

Stay tuned to 21 News and wfmj.com for continuing coverage on this story.

 

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