12-year-old faces adult murder charges after playground stabbing - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

12-year-old faces adult murder charges after playground stabbing

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Jamarion Lawhorn, 12 Jamarion Lawhorn, 12
Michael Connor Verkerke, 9 Michael Connor Verkerke, 9
(WJBK) - What seemed like an average summer night turned deadly after a 9-year old boy was killed on the playground. The western Michigan community of Kentwood is now trying to come to grips with the murder.

A vigil was held Wednesday night outside the playground where Michael Connor Verkerke was stabbed to death earlier this week. Friends, family and the boy's Boy Scout troop all came out to remember him.

His great uncle says he was a responsible child who always put family first.

"One of his last words, I said it before, was to his brother who helped him get home 100 feet that was from the playground, 'If anything happens to me, it's not your fault. I'll always love you.' That's the Connor I know," says Jim Stearns.

Michael was playing with three other kids at the playground Monday when police say a 12-year old boy pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed him.
The suspect, Jamarion Lawhorn, has been charged as an adult for the murder.

A neighbor doing yard work says he was approached by Jamarion moments after the stabbing.

"I offered him my phone. I assumed he was calling his mother, low and behold, he was calling 911 to say 'I stabbed someone. Please pick me up, and I'd like to end my life," says Glen Stacey.

That neighbor stayed with the young suspect until police arrived at the scene.

"Just calmly just started doing what I normally do. I didn't want to agitate the kid, make sure he didn't run away, give time for the police to actually show up. But very calmly, he stood there," Stacey says.

Minutes before Jamarion surrendered, the victim was still fighting for his life. The little boy had ran back home where he collapsed on his porch.

Medics were called in. Connor later died at the hospital.

Investigators believe the stabbing was a random attack.

Jamarion has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges in family court. He is now undergoing a mental health evaluation.
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