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Mar. 29 2010 - 1:54 pm | 123 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

11-year-old to be tried as an adult in Pa. murder

Next time someone tells you Texas has some unusually strict laws, remember that Pennsylvania has more juvenile lifers of any state in the country and that Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Dominick Motto decided today that he’s ok with trying an 11-year old as an adult for murder. From the Tribune-Review:

A 12-year-old charged with two counts of homicide will stand trial as an adult, a Lawrence County judge ruled this morning.

Jordan Brown is charged in the February 2009 shooting deaths of his father’s pregnant fiancee, Kenzie Marie Houk, and her unborn son, Christopher.

Police say Brown placed a shotgun to the back of Houk’s head as she lay in bed in the family’s New Galilee home, shot her and left the house to get on the school bus. He was 11 at the time of the killings last February.

His attorneys asked Common Pleas Judge Dominick Motto to move the case to juvenile court. In a hearing that ended March 12, defense attorneys David Acker and Dennis Elisco argued that Brown is amenable to treatment, and that the brain of someone that young is not fully developed.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony J. Krastek, the lead prosecutor, said the “horrific” nature of the crime required trying Brown as an adult.

If Brown is convicted of first- or second-degree murder as an adult, he faces life in prison without parole. Legal experts say he could be the youngest person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence.

“I am shocked,” Elisco said this morning. “This is certainly the lowest point of my 29-year career. We’re just devastated.”

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