On February 20, 2009, the then 11-year-old Jordan Brown murdered his father’s 26-year-old fiancée Kenzie Houk, who was eight months pregnant at the time—her unborn son was also killed. While the soon-to-be mother was sleeping in her bed in their New Beaver, Pennsylvania farmhouse, Brown shot her in the back of the head using a gun given to him by his father. Houk’s youngest daughter alerted nearby adults to the situation after Brown had gotten on the school bus. Police arrived later that day to find a shotgun in the house with the smell of burnt gunpowder.
Jordan was interviewed by Pennsylvania State Police twice the day of the incident before being arrested the following morning. It was later confirmed that Houk was killed by a youth-model Harrington & Richardson 20-gauge shotgun. Prosecutors speculated that Brown killed his stepmother because he was angered by the pending birth of a new sibling and was jealous about the attention his stepsisters received. Initially, Brown was to be tried as an adult but was eventually found guilty of first-degree murder as a juvenile. In 2018, Brown was exonerated as the court determined that the evidence could have been planted by an unknown assailant, and thus was insufficient to find him culpable beyond a reasonable doubt.