New Castle News

July 25, 2013

Jordan Brown Case: High court rejects request in teen’s case

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Pennsylvania Superior Court has told state prosecutors it doesn’t want to hear a re-argument of Jordan Brown’s appeal.

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office now has 30 days to decide if it will appeal that decision to the state’s Supreme Court.

In May, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania overturned the 2012 ruling by Lawrence County Judge John W. Hodge that Jordan, was responsible for the deaths of his father’s pregnant fiancée Kenzie Marie Houk, 26, and her unborn child.

That is the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict.

Jordan was 11 at the time of the Feb. 20, 2009, incident. He was arrested the following morning and charged as an adult as required by Pennsylvania law.

Following Hodge’s finding, Jordan, now 15, was placed in a secure juvenile facility where he could remain until his 21st birthday.

His lawyers appealed the decision to the state Superior Court. A three-judge panel ordered the case back to Lawrence County juvenile court, saying Hodge’s ruling was contrary to the evidence presented at the closed juvenile court hearing.

Prosecutors appealed that decision and it was rejected Monday.

“If the commonwealth appeals the Superior Court’s ruling, we will have 14 days to respond,” defense attorney Dennis Elisco said Wednesday, adding, “I don’t believe the Supreme Court will hear this.”

Elisco noted the most recent ruling is the fourth time the Superior Court has ruled in favor of the juvenile.

Asked what to expect next, Elisco said he will wait for the commonwealth to exhaust its appeal.

“The Superior Court remanded the case back to Lawrence County juvenile court.”