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June 21, 2013

Jordan Brown Case: Teen’s evaluation frustrates victim’s family

NEW CASTLE — Jordan Brown is doing well academically but may not be receiving adequate rehabilitative treatment, according to his victim’s family.

In April 2012, the 15-year-old was found to be responsible for the deaths of his father’s fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, and her unborn child. Houk was found shot in the head in the New Beaver Borough farm house she and her two daughters shared with Jordan and his father.

Jordan was 11 at the time of the Feb. 20, 2009, shooting. He has been in custody since then, and could remain held by the juvenile justice system until his 21st birthday. If he makes progress and completes treatment to the satisfaction of supervisors, he could be released sooner.

The law requires the case to be reviewed every six months by the judge who made the disposition, the juvenile court equivalent of a sentence. These reviews are required to determine if the youth is receiving adequate treatment.

Following his first review in November, Jordan was moved from a youth center in the central part of the state to a facility in the western part.

During a hearing Wednesday morning, Houk’s parents said, it was reported that Jordan is excelling academically and is considered an honor student at George Junior Republic in Mercer County.

After the hearing, Debbie Houk expressed her frustration with the situation.

“I guess I never fully understood the juvenile part of it,” she said. “Everyone’s so concerned about Jordan. They say how well he’s doing, he’s a role model, an honor student. There’s been no real rehabilitation. From what they say, he’s getting no help.”

She and her husband, Jack, said they do not believe they will attend further evaluation reviews.

“It’s been frustrating, and now the appeals court wants a new hearing, wants us to go through this all again,” Jack Houk said. “What do they want? My daughter and my grandson were killed. How are we — Kenzie’s family — ever to have closure?

Houk noted his unborn grandson would have been 4 years old now.

“My wife’s been tortured by this,” he said. “She cries. That doesn’t bring Kenzie and the baby back. We thought that justice would prevail but that hasn’t happened.”

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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