Superior Court to hear arguments for Jordan Brown May 17
By Nancy Lowry, New Castle News
April 23, 2016
Arguments for a new trial for Jordan Brown have been scheduled for May 17 in Pittsburgh before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Defense attorneys Dennis Elisco of New Castle, Stephen Colafella of Beaver County and Katherine Burdick of the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia, are appealing a 2015 decision by Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge John W. Hodge which rejected appeals for a new trial for the teenage defendant. The defense team will be opposed by representatives of the state attorney general’s office who prosecuted the case. Expected to hear the case are Superior Court judges Judith Ference Olson, Victor Stabile and Senior Judge John Musmanno.
Jordan, 18, was 11 years old when his father’s pregnant fiancee, Kenzie Marie Houk, 26, was shot on February 20, 2009, as she slept in the New Beaver Borough farmhouse where she and her daughters, then 7 and 4, lived with Jordan and his father, Christopher Brown.
Jordan was initially charged as an adult with two counts of homicide. The case was transferred to juvenile court in August 2011.
At a juvenile court hearing on April 13, 2012, Hodge found Jordan responsible for the deaths of Houk and her unborn child. His ruling followed three days of testimony.
Jordan, who has been in custody since February 21, 2009, was assigned to a juvenile treatment facility where he could remain until his 21st birthday.
The ruling was appealed by Jordan’s defense team and in December 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the case back to Lawrence County where Jordan’s attorneys argued that charges be dismissed, or for a new trial.
In May 2015, however, Hodge denied the requests.
Jordan’s attorneys returned to the state Superior Court seeking to overturn the local ruling.
Nancy Lowry is a writer for the New Castle News.
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