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October 23, 2012

Evaluation hearing scheduled for Jordan Brown

NEW CASTLE — An evaluation hearing for Jordan Brown is scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Lawrence County Government Center.

The 15-year-old was found responsible for the 2009 deaths of his father’s pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, and her unborn child.

Jordan — who was 11 at the time of the fatal shooting — has been in custody since.

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.

Jordan could remain in the custody of the juvenile system until his 21st birthday. If he makes progress and completes treatment to the satisfaction of supervisors, he could be released sooner.

In April, following three days of testimony, Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge John W. Hodge ruled Jordan responsible for the deaths. At the disposition hearing in May, Hodge ordered Jordan to a juvenile facility for treatment.

This will be the first review of the case.

Debbie Houk, Kenzie Houk’s mother, said Monday she plans to be present when Hodge reviews the case.

“I don’t expect much.”

Houk said she understands Jordan’s attorneys have filed an appeal of the disposition. “I’m told that as long as the appeal is unresolved, he can’t begin treatment.

“If that’s the case, nothing is being done,” she continued. “He needs help. He has had problems.”

According to Superior Court of Pennsylvania records, an appeal has been filed on behalf of Jordan. However, attempts to reach his lawyers of record, Dennis Elisco and Lourdes Rosado of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, were unsuccessful.

At the time of the sentencing, Elisco said he would appeal the case on grounds there had not been enough evidence to find Jordan guilty. He said he hopes to get a new trial or an outright acquittal by the Superior Court.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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