Lawsuit claims evidence fabricated in case of man exonerated in pregnant stepmother’s murder

Lawsuit claims evidence fabricated in case of man exonerated in pregnant stepmother’s murder

WAMPUM, Pa. — A lawsuit has been filed against four former troopers and a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner for wrongfully convicting Jordan Brown, who was exonerated in the 2009 deaths of his father’s fiancée and unborn child.

Brown was 11 years old when prosecutors said he shot 26-year-old Kenzie Houk, who was eight months pregnant, in the head and then went to school. The shooting happened at their home in Wampum, Lawrence County.

A juvenile court judge later found Brown guilty of first-degree murder and homicide of an unborn child.

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According to the lawsuit, former troopers Janice Wilson, Jeffrey Martin, Robert McGraw and Troy Steinhauser, as well as former commissioner Frank Pawlowski, fabricated evidence against Brown.

The lawsuit claims the only evidence against Brown was a “coerced and fabricated statement” of his soon-to-be stepsister, who was 7-years-old at the time.

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She was interviewed four times in 14 hours after her mother’s death, according to the lawsuit. Two of the statements did not show that Brown was guilty, and the others “were built on lies that were fed to her by the investigators.” She never testified under oath.

“People will believe what they want to believe, but Jordan was innocent. He lost his entire youth being wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit,” Wright said.

In 2016, Brown was released from juvenile detention, but he and his defense team continued to argue his innocence.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 2018 ruled prosecutors did not provide enough evidence to support a conviction and Brown was exonerated at the age of 20.

“This is final piece of the puzzle really providing him of his true feeling of innocent, closure put this behind me,” Wright said.

Channel 11′s Amy Marcinkiewicz reached out to Houk’s family. Her mom said she doesn’t care what Brown’s next step is; she believes he killed her daughter.

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