By Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Sunday, February 22, 2009
WAMPUM, Pa., Feb. 21 -- An 11-year-old boy fatally shot his father's pregnant girlfriend in the back of the head, then got on the school bus and went to school, authorities said Saturday.
Jordan Brown was charged Saturday as an adult in the death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk, who was eight months pregnant, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo said at a news conference.
Jordan, the son of Houk's live-in boyfriend, was charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child, Bongivengo said.
He was being held in Lawrence County Jail.
The fifth-grader was picked up from his western Pennsylvania school Friday by Pennsylvania State Police. They found Houk's body in bed after her 4-year-old daughter told tree cutters on the property that she thought her mother was dead, Bongivengo said.
The victim's 7-year-old daughter implicated the boy in the killing, Bongivengo said.
"She didn't actually eyewitness the shooting. She saw him with what she believed to be a shotgun and heard a loud bang," Bongivengo said, adding that the weapon, a youth model 20-gauge shotgun, was found in what police believed was the boy's bedroom.
The shotgun, which apparently belonged to Jordan, is designed for children, and such weapons do not have to be registered, Bongivengo said.
Bongivengo would not say whether the boy confessed to the shooting.
Jordan's attorney, Dennis Elisco, said the evidence points to the gunshot wound being "consistent" with the boy's hunting gun, but he wanted to see stronger proof that it was Jordan's.
"I believe Jordan did not do this, and I'm looking forward to seeing the physical evidence to see if it matches with what I think happened," he said Saturday after meeting with the boy in jail.
Houk's family and friends, who gathered at her parents' house Saturday night, said she had problems with the boy.
"There was an issue with jealousy. He told my son stuff," said Houk's brother-in-law, Jason Kraner, 34. "He actually told my son that he wanted to do that to her."
Elisco said that he met Saturday with the boy's father, Christopher Brown, and that he planned to file a motion to have the boy released on bail and move the case to juvenile court.
Elisco and police said they know of no motive for the shooting.
The attorney said there was no indication the boy had conflicts with Houk.
A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.
The rural community of Wampum is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.