Jordan Brown Murder Case Takes Emotional Toll

Pennsylvania Boy Charged With Murder to Be Tried as Adult

The killing of a young pregnant mother, allegedly by the 11-year-old boy who was about to become her stepson, has created a bitter feud between two families that were about to be happily joined through marriage.

Last year, Jordan Brown, now 12, was charged with murdering Kenzie Houk, his father's eight-and-a-half month pregnant fiancee while she was asleep. Police say Brown walked into his father's bedroom, shot his future stepmom with a hunting rifle and then boarded a bus for elementary school.

A Pennsylvania judge ruled last month that the boy will be tried as an adult. If convicted, he could become the youngest person in U.S. history to be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

"He's an average 12-year-old," said Jordan's father Chris Brown. "To try to explain to a 12-year-old what the rest of your life means it's incomprehensible for him. He doesn't appreciate the magnitude of what he's facing."

Jordan was denied the chance to stay in a juvenile facility where he would be released by the age of 21 as requested by his lawyers. The decision was the biggest setback yet for the Brown family. Brown told "Nightline" he was "heartbroken" and "sickened by the judge's ruling."

But for the family of Houk, 26, who was found shot in the head in her rural farmhouse in Western Pennsylvania in February 2009 -- just two weeks away from giving birth to her first son -- life in prison may not be as severe as losing a loved one.

"Worse thing is losing your daughter," said Houk's mother Debbie Houk. "I wake up in the middle of the night and think I'm going to have an anxiety attack knowing that I'm never seeing her again. It hurts."

It was Houk's 4-year-old daughter Adalynn who discovered her own mother's body.

"She has said to me, 'Grandma, I got up that morning, I went down to get mommy, I shook her and she wouldn't wake and she had blood on her back,'" Debbie Houk said.

The Houks gathered at the hospital to say goodbye -- not only to Kenzie Houk, but to their unborn grandson, who was to be named Christopher Jr.

"It was horrible. That little baby was perfect," Debbie Houk said. "When I spoke to the preacher ...he said to me, 'Do you realize that you actually held an angel, because we are all born into the world of sin, and this baby never was.'"

Families Grieve Separately

Each day Debbie Houk visits her daughter and grandson's grave while Chris Brown makes the four-hour round trip to visit his son in a juvenile detention center.

"Mentally, he's gotten quite an education there," Brown said of the 13-months his son has spent in the facility. "The boys and girls, the kids that he's with, they're pretty harsh kids. He's not there with the Boy Scouts. Physically he's grown 4 inches plus, and 40 pounds, close to 40 pounds. ...He has just been subjected to some awful things in the past 13 months."

Brown continues to proclaim his son's innocence.

"I know my son. I've talked to him numerous times in depth about what happened and ...if he knew anything about it, if he was involved, he would have told me by now," Brown said. "Not only that, but keep in mind, [he was] 11 years old when this happened, now 12. In the environment that he's in, a child like that is going to break down and his story has not changed from day one."

Different Portraits of Young Boy

While Brown describes his son as the "happy- go-lucky" quarterback of his Pee Wee football team, members of Houk's family describe Jordan as a "troubled kid."

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