Jordan Brown is accused of shooting dead his fathers pregnant girlfriend when he was just 11 years old
A 12-year-old boy accused of murdering his father’s pregnant girlfriend and unborn son will be tried as an adult in a Pennsylvania court in the USA on Tuesday.
Police have said Jordan Brown, then 11, shot Kenzie Marie Houk, who was eight months’ pregnant, once at point-blank range in her farmhouse in western Pennsylvania, in February 2009.
Under Pennsylvania law, anyone over 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult. The judge denied a request to have his case moved from criminal to juvenile court. If Brown is found guilty he will become America’s youngest ever ‘lifer,’ facing a compulsory life sentence without parole.
The victim’s father Jack Houk‘s believes his son should be tried as an adult, saying: ‘I’m going to be honest with you, the first thing that happened, we cried. And all along, I’ve been hoping it would be this way because, all in fairness, no matter whether the boy is saying he’s a boy or kid or whatever… it’s how he committed the crime.’
Judge Dominick Motto said that if Brown was convicted as a juvenile, he doubted he would be rehabilitated by the time of his release at age 21. In his ruling, he focused on prosecution psychiatrist Dr John O’Brien’s findings that Brown tended to ‘minimise’ the allegations against him.
He wrote: ‘There is no indication of any provocation by the victim that led to her killing. The offence was an execution-style killing of a defenceless pregnant young mother. A more horrific crime is difficult to imagine. It is not likely the defendant can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court jurisdiction.’
Yesterday American legal experts were divided over Judge Matto’s ruling, with some strongly condemning it. Cynthia Orr, of the National Association of Criminal Defence Attorneys, said: ‘It’s simply inappropriate to put a 12-year-old child in the adult prison system. It won’t work. It won’t benefit society or this child.’