12 Yr Old Boy Charged with Murder of 9 Yr Old in Playground Attack


KENTWOOD, MI – Unanswered questions remain this morning after a 12 year Kentwood Playgroundold boy repeatedly stabbed a 9 year old boy on a playground at the Pinebrook Village Mobile Home Park.  That 9 year old died from his injuries and the 12 year old has been charged with murder.

Because the 12 year old is being charged as an adult in juvenile court, he is being named in this article.

9 yr old Michael Verkerke
9 yr old Michael Verkerke

Michael Conner Verkerke (Conner) was repeatedly stabbed in the back by Jamarion Lawhorn at the playground, then ran screaming to his home where he collapsed bleeding on his porch while his mother watched in horror waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Verkerke was eventually transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators say that Lawhorn attacked Verkerke with a steak knife near the playground at Pinebrook Village Mobile Home Park at about 6 p.m. on Monday.

The Jamarion Lawhorn has pleaded not guilty to an adult charge of murder in juvenile court Tuesday afternoon, according to his attorney. He was ordered held in a juvenile detention center until a hearing takes place next week.  Lawhorn will be tried in the same manner as an adult in the court’s Family Division and will have an adult record if convicted.

Witnesses told police that four children were playing when one of them, for unknown reasons, pulled a knife and stabbed.  They also stated the 12 year old boy went to a nearby home after the stabbing, called 911 and calmly turned himself in, then tried to flag down officers when they arrived.

A GoFundMe account is in place to help pay for Conner’s funeral expenses.

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