Lawhorn to undergo psychological exam


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The 12-year-old boy accused of killing a 9-year-old at a Kentwood playground will undergo a psychological evaluation.

Monday, Jamarion Lawhorn’s mother sat near him as he waived his preliminary hearing in Kent County juvenile court, where he is being charged with murder as an adult.

Police say Lawhorn, 12, used a kitchen knife to stab 9-year-old Michael Connor Verkerke on Aug. 4 at the playground at the Pinebrook Village mobile home park. Police believe the boys met just minutes before the attack.

Michael Connor Verkerke (File photo)
(File photo of Michael Connor Verkerke.)

Lawhorn admitted to stabbing the 9-year-old, court documents say, and said he wanted to die.

The 12-year-old will now undergo a forensic exam to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors would not provide a timeline of how long it will take to get the results back from that exam.

Lawhorn is the youngest person ever to be charged with murder in Kent County. If he is found guilty, he could be held in a juvenile facility until he is 21, at which point a judge would decide whether to send him to prison. Because of this age, he is guaranteed a chance at parole.

A memorial service for Connor is scheduled for Wednesday.

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