Jordan Brown was found guilty of murder at the age of 11 for killing his father’s pregnant girlfriend.
Now aged 20, he has been exonerated by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court.
“I had no idea what was going on. All I remember is waking up and the police taking me, and I was in jail, and that was it,” Brown said during a recent interview with ABC 20/20.
“I knew that my step-mom passed away, but I didn’t know how or what was going on. I didn’t know that I was there because of that.”
“You didn’t know you were being accused of murder?” said interviewer Juju Chang.
“I didn’t know until, I don’t know, maybe I was like 13, 14,” said Brown.
Brown was accused of shooting his father’s fiancée, 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk, who was nine months pregnant with the father’s baby in 2009. Houk was living with her two daughters, Brown, and his father Christopher at the time.
After Christopher had gone to work that day, Brown and the 7-year-old daughter went to school. A four-year-old daughter, who had stayed home, soon found her mother dead and walked outside to find help from some nearby workers. A shotgun was later located in the house by Pennsylvania State Police.
Eleven-year-old Brown was arrested less than a day after Houk was found dead, and placed in an adult jail. He was then adjudicated a delinquent, which means found guilty in a juvenile court, of first-degree murder and homicide of an unborn child in 2012, according to the Innocence Project.
Brown was set free in 2016 at the age of 18, but his case was not overturned until July 2018.
The state supreme court unanimously overturned Brown’s conviction, stating there was not enough evidence to link the boy with the crime. The young man stayed silent at a press conference announcing the news, with his father and defense attorneys by his side.
“It’s unfortunate that it took this long. It’s unfortunate Jordan has had to endure what he’s had to endure to get to this point,” said attorney Stephen Colafella, according to WTAE.
Due to double jeopardy law, Brown can never be tried for the same crime again. He is now attending college in Ohio and hopes to regain a normal life.