Doctor: Adolescent murder suspect can't be rehabilitated
Twelve-year-old Jordan Brown is not amenable to treatment because he refuses to take responsibility for his actions and exhibits potentially dangerous behavior, according to a psychiatrist who testified in New Castle today.
Brown is charged with two counts of homicide for the Feb. 20, 2009, shooting deaths of his father's pregnant fiancee, Kenzie Marie Houk and her unborn child. Police say he 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 then left the house to get on the school bus.
Today's hearing will decide whether Brown is tried as a juvenile or an adult.
Dr. John S. O'Brien II, a lawyer and psychiatrist from Philadelphia, interviewed Jordan Brown at an Erie juvenile facility on Feb. 24 of this year. O'Brien said Brown was evasive, pretended not to understand questions and has a history of refusing to take responsibility for his actions.
"He tends to avoid taking responsibility (which) complicates his amenability to rehabilitation because in order to be rehabilitated, you have to take to take responsibility for your behavior," O'Brien said. "He is not even able to take that first step."
Defense attorney Dennis Elisco dismissed the prosecution's argument as "ridiculous."
"According to them, the only way Jordan can be treated is if he admits to the crime. That makes no sense. It's illogical," Elisco said.
The hearing began in January, but was continued to allow lead prosecutor Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony J. Krastek to send someone to Erie to analyze Brown.
Common Pleas Judge Dominick Motto has until April 1 to issue a ruling.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Pirates recall Decker, send Cumpton back to Indy
- Report links Pirates’ Sanchez to PEDs
- Irwin man drowned in Allegheny River, medical examiner’s office says
- New judge assigned to USS Cole case
- USS Cole case gets new judge
- Penguins hire Agnew as assistant coach
- Corbett signs Pennsylvania budget, vetoes legislative funding
- ‘Nasty surprise’ in store for pro-Russia separatists
- Kerry tells Afghanistan candidates to be leaders
- Regional manager remains positive about Century III Mall’s future
- Bethel Park woman drowns while trying to save son