PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Jordan Brown's murder conviction has been overturned and now his attorneys and father are hoping officials will reopen the case to find the real killer.
Brown was charged in 2009 in the shooting death of his father's pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Houk. Brown was 11 years old at the time.
Houk was shot in the back of her head as she slept in the Brown family home near New Castle. A shotgun was reportedly found in Jordan Brown's bedroom.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously overturned Brown's conviction saying there was not enough evidence to prove that the shotgun was the murder weapon.
"The exoneration is largely unprecedented but it speaks volumes to the insufficiency of the evidence in the case," attorney Dennis Elisco said. "How he does it, I don't know, but he harbors no ill feelings or malice."
"I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the review that was conducted by the Supreme Court and the thoroughness of their opinion and their analysis of the facts and the lack of evidence in the case," attorney Steve Colafella said. "The theory of the case is, to me, patently absurd in terms of the way it was suggested that Jordan Brown could have committed this crime."
On Monday, with Jordan present, his father and attorneys spoke about the case. Brown's attorneys and his father spoke about how they hope that officials will reopen the case to find the real killer.
"We are proud with the result we obtained, we are heartbroken for the loss, we are mystified as to why the true killer has not been investigated or apprehended and we would hope that the commonwealth, despite the delay in time, would reopen the investigation so that this family can have some justice," Elisco said.
Elisco also said it's not the defense's job to investigate and offer an alternate suspect in the case.
"The Supreme Court points this out, it's not a duty on the defense to point to an alternative possible defendant," Elisco said.
Jordan's father echoed that sentiment and also hopes the case is reopened.
"It's not our job to investigate and there are people involved in this case that are sworn to investigate. I would just hope that they would do that. I would hope that they would reopen the case and pursue the actual murderer who, by the way, has been walking the streets for nine years," Chris Brown said.
Elisco said that Jordan and his father, Chris, are also victims in this case.
"It's a fact that Jordan and his father, Chris, are also victims of this horrific, horrific, heinous crime. Chris went to work that morning fully expecting to come home and be with his family, fully expecting the birth of his son, Christopher, Jordan's brother, within two weeks and obviously his day turned out to be the most tragic in his life," Elisco said.
Chris Brown said the exoneration is bittersweet, but he's happy to have his son back home.
"As any parent could imagine, it's something I wouldn't wish upon any other parent out there, it's been a long road. As far as getting news of the exoneration it was kind of bittersweet sort to speak, overwhelmed with joy, but still full of sorrow knowing we really won't have closure with our loss," Chris Brown said.
Jordan's lawyers advised him not to speak or answer questions at the press conference.
"We believe that there was a rush to judgment, and we also believe that he was the casualty of a system that broke down," Elisco said.
Because it was a juvenile case, the public never heard all the facts, said attorneys Elisco and Colafella, and that led to a public misperception of Jordan.
"Like many of you, and most of the viewing public, what I knew about Jordan Brown and the case against Jordan Brown was really limited to headlines, innuendo, a number of articles that sort of scratched the surface of the case because there really wasn't a great deal that was made public at that time," said Colafella, who was called into the case by Elisco.
And the long time it took to get the truth out by the state Supreme Court's decision disturbs both the lawyers and Chris Jordan.
"Here we are nine years later. Half of his life he has spent in this system to get to our final day today. That to me is an issue. It's an issue," Brown said. "If anything positive comes out of this, I would hope that it's maybe the higher-ups take a look at this juvenile system and how broken it is."
Given what happened to Jordan, the family and their lawyers did not rule out a civil lawsuit in this case.
"That is certainly something that is going to be investigated and possibly pursued," said Elisco in response to a question from KDKA's Jon Delano. "I think it would be incumbent upon me, in conjunction with Jordan and Chris, to look into that."
As for Jordan Brown, he is studying information systems and is set to be a sophomore in college.
"There's no doubt he's going to be a productive member of society. He's going to do great things. He's got good things coming," his father said.
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