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November 30, 2012

Jordan Brown heading to George Junior

NEW CASTLE — Jordan Brown is moving closer to home.

At a hearing Thursday, Judge John W. Hodge approved transferring the 15-year-old from a facility in central Pennsylvania to one in western Pennsylvania.

Jordan was in the courtroom, which was closed to the public.

In April, Jordan was found responsible for the deaths of his father’s pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, and her unborn child. That is the juvenile justice system equivalent of a guilty determination.

Jordan was 11 at the time of the Feb. 20, 2009, shooting. He has been in custody since then.

At a disposition hearing in May, Hodge ordered Jordan to a juvenile facility for treatment.

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.

At the first review, earlier this month, a representative of the facility said Jordan had not opened up, according to Houk family members, and asked that another facility be found.

After Thursday’s proceeding, members of Houk’s family displayed frustration.

“I have nothing to say,” Kenzie Houk’s mother Debbie Houk said as she left the courthouse.

Her husband, Jack Houk, at first declined to comment on the proceedings. However, later, he said he is frustrated.

“In six months, there will be another evaluation,” he said. “I know what is happening. We’ll just keep going through this.”

Houk also said Jordan is being moved to the maximum security area of George Junior Republic in Grove City.

George Junior is a private, non-profit, residential treatment facility, founded in 1909, for at-risk youth. Its offerings include accredited academic and vocational  education programs and therapeutic activities. It houses more than 1,000 youths from throughout the United States.

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