Boy held in Pa. killing moves to juvey

February 25, 2009 9:12:04 AM PST
An 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancee was moved from a county jail to a juvenile detention center on Wednesday, where authorities say his needs will be better served. Jordan Brown remains charged as an adult in the shooting death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk and her unborn son. But authorities felt he could not be accommodated at the Lawrence County Jail where he has been housed since his arrest. A judge agreed and on Tuesday ordered the boy moved. Pennsylvania law allows for minors to be charged as adults but be housed in a juvenile center.

Lawrence County Jail Warden Charles Adamo has said his 300-inmate facility could not meet Brown's long-term needs.

For example, at the juvenile center northwest of Pittsburgh, Brown will be able to continue his schooling. At the county jail, even allowing him to shower meant an entire cellblock of up to 63 inmates had to be locked down, Adamo said.

In the county jail, Brown was isolated in a cell in the jail's booking area, where he was checked on every 15 minutes.

Even the prison garb Brown was given was inappropriate, requiring the boy to cuff his pants about 10 times and wear a shirt way too big for him, his attorney, Dennis Elisco, said.

Elisco has said he will ask the court to move the charges against the boy to a juvenile court.

If convicted as an adult, Brown would face life in prison.

Jordan Brown and his father lived with Houk and her two small daughters in a farmhouse in the rural western Pennsylvania town of Wampum.

Authorities believe Friday's killing was premeditated. They say Brown went downstairs with two guns but returned upstairs after Houk's 7-year-old daughter saw him; they believe he then hid a gun in a blanket and went back downstairs to Houk's bedroom and shot her in the back of the head.

Brown also initially told police he had seen a suspicious person on the property before the shooting - possibly the man who feeds the cows. Investigators chased down the false lead for about five hours until they realized inconsistencies in Brown's story were suspicious.

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