I received a telephone call yesterday from Chris Brown, Jordan’s dad. He was driving on his way to the May 17 hearing at the Superior Court in Pittsburgh seeking to clear Jordan’s name and finally have him exonerated of the 2009 murder of Kenzie Houk. All this time, Jordan has adamantly and consistently maintained his innocence—I believe him—and the Superior Court has vacated Judge Hodge’s finding that Jordan is “delinquent”… even though Hodge refused to accept the Superior Court’s findings. On this blog I have maintained that Jordan not only didn’t have the opportunity or motive to commit this crime, but that Kenzie Houk was shot with an entirely different weapon—a handgun with a shot shell—than maintained by the prosecutors of Lawrence County and Pennsylvania.
During the roughly 30-minute Superior Court proceeding Tuesday before three judges, Jordan’s attorney, Dennis A. Elisco, said that the lower court had failed to properly consider the evidence. “The evidence as we sit here today is the same. It’s never changed,” Elisco said.
A review found only two specks of gunshot residue—one on Jordan’s upper thigh, another on his upper chest—indicating the boy did not fire a gun that day, Elisco said. Expert testimony said that Jordan would have had more residue on him had he fired a gun and that such small amounts of residue could be transferred from other articles of clothing. “There is no evidence that [he] handled that gun or touched that gun that morning. That’s un-contradicted,” Elisco said. He added that the defense also established that Jordan’s own shotgun wasn’t used in the shooting.
In 2013, the Superior Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty. A year later, the state Supreme Court agreed and sent the case back to the trial court.
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