New Castle News

Jordan Brown Case

May 19, 2012

Judge rules Jordan Brown must go to a juvenile facility in Kenzie Houk slaying

NEW CASTLE — After 1,173 days in an Erie holding facility, Jordan Brown is headed to a juvenile facility for counseling and treatment.

Lawrence County Judge John W. Hodge made that decision regarding the 14-year-old yesterday. Because his case is now in the juvenile justice system, the disposition hearing — the equivalent of a sentencing — was closed and the boy’s placement will not be made public.

Under juvenile law, children found to be delinquent — the equivalent of guilty — are ordered to treatment rather than jail time. Jordan’s case will be reviewed every six months. He could be recommended for release when he has satisfactorily completed his treatment plan or he could remain in custody until his 21st birthday — Aug. 30, 2018.

Last month, after three days of testimony, Hodge ruled Jordan to be responsible for the death of his father’s fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, 26.

Houk, who was eight months pregnant, and her unborn son died after she was shot in the head on Feb. 20, 2009, in the New Beaver farmhouse she shared with Jordan, his father, Chris Brown, and her daughters, Jenessa and Adalynn.

Jordan was 11 years old at the time.


Defense attorneys Dennis Elisco and Stephen Colafella said yesterday they will appeal the conviction. They will request an outright acquittal or a new trial.

“We don’t believe that the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to convict him,” Elisco said.

Within 30 days, he said, the defense team will notify the Lawrence County prothonotary’s office and court records will be sent to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Within 10 days of that, Elisco said, the superior court will notify him by letter to determine if the appeal will be by brief, by a five-minute argument, or by a full 15 minutes before the court.

“Due to the nature of the case, we will want the full 15 minutes,” Elisco said, adding he anticipates arguing the case in early January.

As for Jordan, Elisco said he is holding up. “He’s depressed and anxious. This is a lot for him to grasp. But he trusts us.”

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Jordan Brown Case
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