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Old 03-29-2010   #1
Don Chipotle
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11 year old to be tried as adult in murder case

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pennsylvania boy who was 11 when he was accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancee with a shotgun blast to the back of her head as she lay in bed will be tried as an adult in the death of both the woman and the fetus, a judge ruled Monday.

Jordan Brown, now 12, is charged with criminal homicide in the death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in their farmhouse in New Galilee, in western Pennsylvania, on Feb. 20, 2009. Houk was 8 1/2 months pregnant; the male fetus died from a resulting lack of oxygen.

"This offense was an execution-style killing of a defenseless pregnant young mother. A more horrific crime is difficult to imagine," Lawrence County Judge Dominick Motto wrote in his opinion refusing to move the case to juvenile court.

The boy could be convicted of anything from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder under Pennsylvania's homicide law. Prosecutors have said they will seek a conviction on first-degree murder charges, for which he could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Cynthia Orr, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, said she's never heard of someone as young as Brown charged with fetal homicide. Brown's attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the ruling but are expected to appeal.

Prosecutors have suggested the boy was jealous of Houk and her unborn son. Police had said Brown hid the weapon under a blanket so Houk's 7-year-old daughter wouldn't see it as he entered her mother's room. Later, authorities say, he threw the spent shell casing along a path on his way to a bus and went to school.

A state trooper testified that tests showed the shell was fired from Brown's youth-model 20-gauge shotgun.

Brown's attorneys, Dennis Elisco and David Acker, have argued the boy's case would best be dealt with in juvenile court, where he could receive treatment and incarceration specifically aimed at younger offenders.

Under state law, the attorneys had to convince the judge that he was more "amenable" to rehabilitation in the juvenile system _ which would have jurisdiction only until he is 21 _ than as an adult.

But the judge said the testimony of defense psychologist Kirk Heilbrun didn't convince him that Brown was best tried as a juvenile. Heilbrun said that the boy was likely at low risk of offending again _ but the judge noted the assessment did not question whether Brown committed the crime.

Motto focused on findings by a prosecution psychiatrist, Dr. John O'Brien, who found that Brown tended to "minimize" his wrongdoing and to "deny" and "shift blame" for his misdeeds. Brown, specifically, denied killing Houk when examined by both doctors.

Kevin Harley, spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general, said prosecutors agree with the decision but stressed that prosecutors could still decide to move the case to juvenile court themselves.

Debbie Houk, the victim's mother, said she doesn't understand why there would be debate about the decision.

"There was no reason for uncertainty in our eyes," Houk said. "We're pleased."

Damn, Pennsylvania, why your children shootin' shotguns, man.
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Old 03-29-2010   #2
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Wow, what the hell happened here. Possible jealousy? He has a younger sister, why be jealous when you already have a younger sibling to be jealous about? This makes absolutely no sense. I mean what the hell. D:

EDIT: This is why kids should stick to airsoft guns when younger, NOT LIVE AMMO GUNS
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Old 03-29-2010   #3
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At 11 you are mature enough to know. This should be an example for all those gangsta kids to go fuck themselves and stop thinking they can get away with shit.
Blame it on whatever ya went, this kid knew how to conceal the weapon, plan it out, and wasnt daydreaming like a normal kid, he went through with it.
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Old 03-29-2010   #4
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Originally Posted by NecroErotica View Post
At 11 you are mature enough to know. This should be an example for all those gangsta kids to go fuck themselves and stop thinking they can get away with shit.
Blame it on whatever ya went, this kid knew how to conceal the weapon, plan it out, and wasnt daydreaming like a normal kid, he went through with it.
I agree that you would think he should know, but he should not be tried as an adult.
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Old 03-29-2010   #5
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Originally Posted by Lancet Jades View Post
I agree that you would think he should know, but he should not be tried as an adult.
How do you think it should be handled? What steps would you like to see taken?
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Old 03-29-2010   #6
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Originally Posted by NecroErotica View Post
How do you think it should be handled? What steps would you like to see taken?
He should be tried as a juvenile. I'm against trying him as an adult on principle. The government shouldn't be allowed to hand-pick situations where someone who is not afforded the other rights of an adult (such as voting and serving in the military) is tried as an adult just because of their crime.

If he's tried as an adult, then make him a legal adult. And give all minors 11 and older the chance to "apply" for early adulthood, too. Deciding to charge a minor as an adult is just plain wrong.
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Old 03-29-2010   #7
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The government shouldn't be allowed to hand-pick situations where someone who is not afforded the other rights of an adult (such as voting and serving in the military) is tried as an adult just because of their crime.
I can agree with that. And it is the most fair not to hand-pick. I just feel the justice system doesnt give children enough credit to think out crimes and intend them. Kids get away with shit too easily. I just feel trying them as an adult says "know right from wrong, you chose wrong, being a kid wont let you get away with murder"

I can see where youre coming from and Id normally agree. Its just that one point I made above that bugs me. I dont agree with either option mainly but I learn toward the more severe punishment for the crime, if that makes more sense.
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Old 03-29-2010   #8
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Originally Posted by NecroErotica View Post
I can agree with that. And it is the most fair not to hand-pick. I just feel the justice system doesnt give children enough credit to think out crimes and intend them. Kids get away with shit too easily. I just feel trying them as an adult says "know right from wrong, you chose wrong, being a kid wont let you get away with murder"

I can see where youre coming from and Id normally agree. Its just that one point I made above that bugs me. I dont agree with either option mainly but I learn toward the more severe punishment for the crime, if that makes more sense.
It isn't about proper punishment, it's about the government hand-picking this. They should NOT be allowed to try minors as an adult just because it's a "horrible" crime. If the need for increased punishment in situations like this is so bad, pass laws allowing for severe punishments for minors in outstanding situations like this. If such a law doesn't exist, that's just too bad; petition the government to add laws to better punish future offenders, then. Don't just make arbitrary exceptions to apply a more "severe" punishment.
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Old 03-29-2010   #9
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I get where youre coming from 100%. I wish it was a bit different, like how youre explaining. Id prefer that, also. I dont particularly feel its fair that a child can be tried as an adult, I do feel that more laws should be made for trying children in such situations. But as is I just think it should be taken very seriously and none of that "children are innocent, video games made him do it" kinda shit should be tolerated. if that makes more sense on how i was feeling about it
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Old 03-29-2010   #10
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Originally Posted by Don Chipotlé View Post
Damn, Pennsylvania, why your children shootin' shotguns, man.
That's Pittsburgh. They're the uncool side of PA.

And no, this kid would not know better, even if he were a half decade older he'd still be too much of a kid to be tried as an adult. It's not about maturity; children's brains are not fully formed at that age, they're physically incapable of understanding responsibility and consequence the way that the laws assume.

I'd also like to point out that people were already making a fuss when kids at 17 were being tried as an adult, saying that before you know it toddlers will be tried as adults. Now we're pretty much there.
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