March 29th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Judge nixes killing suspect's transfer to juvenile court

A judge in Pennsylvania has denied a request from a 12-year-old killing suspect to have his case transferred to juvenile court.

The boy is facing adult charges in the shooting death of his father's pregnant girlfriend, and a judge turned down a petition to have the case transferred from criminal court to juvenile court.

Police say the boy, who was age 11 at the time of the February 2009 incident, shot Kenzie Marie Houk, who was eight months pregnant, once at point-blank range in her farmhouse in western Pennsylvania.

The boy, whose name was withheld by CNN because he is a juvenile, was charged with one count each of criminal homicide and homicide of an unborn child in the death of Houk, 26, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo told CNN.

Houk's 4-year-old daughter found her in her bed, according to police. The child alerted landscapers working near the home, who then called authorities.

"This is something that you wouldn't even think of in your worst nightmare; that you'd have to charge an 11-year-old with homicide," Bongiveng said, according to CNN affiliate WTAE. "It's heinous, the whole situation."

Under Pennsylvania law, anyone over the age of 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult. If convicted, the boy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, Bongivengo said.

Authorities said the boy is the son of the victim's live-in boyfriend at the home in Wampum, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

"At this point, we don't believe it's accidental," Bongivengo said.

The weapon was a youth model 20-gauge shotgun, designed for use by children, that belonged to the boy, according to investigators.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. pete moss

    trash is trash, garbage is garbage despite the age! this little piece of shi+ deserves the punishment fitting the crime. the death penalty keeps little worthless pieces of shi+ from becoming worthless adult pices of shi+! enough coddling of the mounds of human trash! time to thin the herd! fry this oxygen thief! let me fip the switch!

    June 18, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Me

    If he kills at 11 he is going to kill at 21....11 year olds get right from wrong

    June 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. She-Wolf

    If the child had had proper disipline, he would have known there are consequences for your actions. This is a hard way to learn the lesson but the punishment fits the crime. If he got away with this he would just keep on killing. Even at his age he knew if you shoot a person they are likely to die. Too many people today are afraid to disipline thier children due to child abuse laws, so they do nothing. I am totally against child abuse and I agree we need laws to protect our children...but they need to be more defined. The schools teach about the hotline and give the wrong impression. Kids think their parents have no control and in some cases, out of fear, that is true! I cannot tell you how many times certain family members of mine are told
    "YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING, I'LL CALL THE CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE".

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
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