Jordan Brown, a 12-year-old boy could be the youngest to serve life without parole, if convicted of first-degree murder in a double homicide.
A judge ruled that he will stand trial as an adult and turned down a request to have the case transferred from criminal to juvenile court, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Jordan Brown would be the youngest person in the U.S. to serve a life sentence without any chance of parole, if he is convicted.
The judge denied the petition to move the case, saying the system will be unlikely to rehabilitate him by the time he turns 21. As a result, Jordan Brown who is accused of murdering his father's pregnant fiancée while she slept will stand trial as an adult.
Although a psychologist said the boy would be at "low-risk" for future violence, the judge based his decision on his refusal to take responsibility and the impact of the killings on the community.
In Pennsylvania, anyone older than 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult.
Juvenile law experts say that Jordan, if found guilty, should be held accountable in a "developmentally appropriate way".
The judge looked into Jordan's mental capacity and degree of criminal sophistication exhibited.
According to police Jordan Brown used a .20-gauge shotgun to kill Kenzie Houk, 26, who was 9 months pregnant her unborn baby.
The judge wrote in his ruling that the offense was "an execution-style killing of a defenseless pregnant mother."
Court doctors for the prosecution and the defense agreed that taking responsibility was necessary for his rehabilitation. The judge used their expert opinions that Jordan would be unlikely to ever admit guilt as one the factors to make his decision.