February 22, 2009 in Nation/World

Boy, 11, arrested in death of dad’s pregnant friend

Ramit Plushnick-Masti Associated Press
 

WAMPUM, Pa. – An 11-year-old boy shot his father’s pregnant girlfriend in the back of the head while she was lying in bed in their western Pennsylvania farmhouse, then got on the school bus and went to school, authorities said Saturday.

Jordan Brown was charged Saturday as an adult in the shooting death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk, who was 8 months pregnant, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo said at a news conference.

Houk’s family and friends, who gathered at her parents’ house Saturday night, told the Associated Press that Houk had had problems with the boy in the past.

“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.”

Brown, 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. A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.

The fifth-grader was picked up from school Friday by Pennsylvania State Police, who found Houk’s body after her 4-year-old daughter told tree cutters on the property that she thought her mother was dead, Bongivengo said.

The boy had told police there was a suspicious black truck on the property that morning, causing investigators to look into a false lead for about five hours, he said.

Inconsistencies in Brown’s description of the vehicle led police to re-interview the victim’s 7-year-old daughter, who 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.

Police said they had no motive for the shooting, and Bongivengo would not say whether the boy confessed.

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