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Neighbor of 12-year-old murder suspect says ‘no surprise’ over arrest

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KENTWOOD, Mich. -- A neighbor of Jamarion Lawhorn tells FOX 17 that he always had a strange feeling about the boy.

"Damn it, that's him," said the neighbor, who did not want his name used and would not appear on camera. "Sad, but to tell you the truth, no surprise."

The neighbor said that he would try to talk to Lawhorn when he would pass by his house, but the 12-year-old never responded.

"See him on almost a daily basis this time of year and comes down this sidewalk just about everyday," said the neighbor. "He's the first one that came to mind. However, you can't point fingers, and I know the neighborhood fairly well. We've lived here for several years, and it's very unfortunate."

Lawhorn is charged as an adult for the stabbing death of 9-year-old Conner Verkerke. Investigators said that Lawhorn attacked Verkerke with a steak knife near the playground at Pinebrook Village Mobile Home Park at about 6 p.m. on Monday.

Lawhorn's neighbor also said that he'd keep an eye on his property, because of the strange feeling he got from the 12-year-old.

"I've got equipment in the house here. I've got the garage open. He seemed to have big eyes, you know what I'm saying. Like, you kind of felt like you wanted to watch your back."

Kent County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Laura Clifton told FOX 17 that she has never prosecuted someone as young as Lawhorn for murder.

Investigators said that it doesn't appear that Lawhorn and Verkerke knew each other.

A witness said that Lawhorn used his cell phone to call 911 and told dispatchers that he had just stabbed someone. The witness also said that Lawhorn admitted to taking pills and expressed feelings of wanting to end his life.

The neighbor who spoke to us said everyone in the community has been affected by the tragedy. "I feel bad for them. You know, obviously. I mean for the whole family involved. Both families."

A vigil is scheduled at the playground where the incident took place. It is scheduled for August 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Family members have set up an account for donations to help cover funeral costs.  That can be found by clicking here.


"Because of the nature of comments being left on this post comments have been disabled".


    • You'Nique Jefferson


      • cathy

        Maybe if you didnt blame “whitey” for all your problems and hold your son accountable. Hell maybe learn how to spell. You should have been a responsible parent and taught him right from wrong. I’m sure you get enough tax dollars from the state. Your jamarion will get a public defender. Be

        • cathy

          Jamarion isn’t the victim. He committed a murder. Admitted. So maybe if you want to play the race card call it right. The little boy who was murdered Is the victim. Not your son. Get real lady.

      • parent

        To the comment above i understand what your saying but the 12 year old had no reason to even kill the 9 year old boy. They didnt even know each other. Now both families done lost a child one to the grave and one to prison. It isnt fair to the family that lost a child because another kid felt the need to stabb him for what? Because from the sounds of it the 12 year old boy sounds like he has some deeper issues. This is just my opinion and how i feel.

        • Susu

          I read a different article about it before, which said, when he turned himself in, the boy told the police stuff like: Nobody loves me, I don’t want to live on this world anymore…. I feel sorry for the victim and the boy as well. I mean, we are talking about a 12year old child… So I’m wondering what has happend in his short life, that made him react that way. And to charge a 12year old boy as an adult, that’s just a fucked up world as well.
          But America, you almost can’t surprise me anymore…..

      • Becca

        The killer doesn’t need a legal fund. He will be given a public defender regardless of his family’s ability to pay for one. The victim’s family is now facing the financial costs of having to bury their little boy (something I’m sure they weren’t planning for in their budget) because your “little baby” decided that he was going to take that boy’s young life and entire future while he was minding his own business and playing on a playground, something millions of kids do. The bible also says “Thou shalt not kill” but I see that you are quite selective when referring to the scriptures.

      • parent

        So do you think its okay for the 12yr old did to the 9yr old? Do you not see here that wrong is wrong and what he did was for no dam reason. So this little boy had to die because jamarion felt the need to pick up a butcher knife and kill this innocent kid that he didnt even know. Now tell me why would people start a fund for someone who took a innocent childs life? And this aint got anything to do with color okay.

        • Wendy N Barnes

          He had a reason just not one a normal, sane adult understands. He sounds like he may have an organic mental illness.

      • Reader

        Really? I mean, FOR REAL? You expect the world to pity the ruthless killer, and his family, above the innocent victim? I don’t care what color anybody is, you’re not going to receive much compassion for a heartless, cold-blooded killer, or for the parents who raised such a child.

      • Bradley Delong

        This post… pretty much sums it all up… lack of education, lack of respect, lack of responsibility, lack of parenting, lack of common human courtesy. You are whats wrong with society and should be ashamed of your self. It is not racisim, you just give black people a bad name. Congrats though you managed to raise a cold blooded killer, mabye that skill set will do him well in prison.

      • Random guy

        Fuck you, People always want a god damn handout… The kid committed capital murder. Why should any one other than the retarded parent that is responsible for him and should of never been allowed to take a knife out the house in the first place pay for shit for these people. Its a constant barrage of the self entitled wanting more and more when they cant even act like human beings. One of these days the well is going to run dry and Obama wont have any wealth to redistribute and people will have to learn to stand on their own 2 feet. To give this murdering fuck’s family money is insane. Why should we reward animalistic behavior?

      • Wayne Wright

        His family won’t pay a penny for lawyers. They’ll either use court appointed or some organization will step in and do it pro bono. Also, I can tell by your comment you are another high school graduate which speaks highly of the level of education in the hood.

      • Sam

        I must admit I question whether You’nique Jefferson is sincere, or a race baiter trying to stir up the pot. That was my first reaction from reading the first post.

      • one mad parent

        Oh get over the “im black” and everyone is “racist” so tired of hearing that. That family has to bury there 9 year old son. What Jamarion did was wrong he knew what he was going when he stabbed that little boy to death. Jamarion will get a free lawyer and a fair trial. They will go easy on him cause he is a child. (Not that he deserves it.) And please do us all a favor and learn how to spell!! And from your spelling um sure you are a crack head and thats why your son was looking for a way out. Im prison or jail he will at least get 4 meals a day a bed to sleep in and wont have to worry about clothes. People like you is what gives the “black” people a bad name!!!

      • Robert Carvo

        Are you serious? Your “son” belongs in a juvenile facility where he can get the help he needs.Maybe he can even get a n education which you apparently did not!

      • eta45

        Obama an Holder gone be takin care ob sweet lil Jamriaon – they set him up with 3-4 lawyers. An aint namn body be worry bout what that baby done did, diversity be the most impotent thang in america, As long as de black manz culteral enrich crakkkkkas and so long as de crakkkka’s aint riot and aint use no racial slurs – it all be cool. Just dont be rassssis whitey. Jus cause some brothas rape, rob, loot, murder, burn, steal and pillage – all yall whitey’s jus gone hab ta accept it and have love an tolereance and understandin.

      • Susan

        I hope the little bast**d is arrested for a hate crime. If it was the other way around, Al Sharpton and the brainless KoolAid drinking liberals would be all over this one. This kid will be trash when he gets out of prison and will do worse crimes. Where is mother and father in all of this? I wish this little coward that stabbed this innocent boy in the back did end his life but unfortunately society is left with a parasitic dangerous dreg on it and a child with a promising future is dead. I have no sympathy for those who kill the innocent and this child is especially evil since he did this so young, a hint of things to come in his life. This is no child he is a demon. Keep him locked up forever like the dangerous animal he is and will always be.

    • Anny

      Niggers will be niggers. They just can’t get their shit together. I guess with an avrage IQ of 85 you can’t expect much. They are a plague on society.

    • You'Nique Jefferson


        • Susan

          She is being sarcastic in a sick demented way. I’m sure his real mother is strung out on drugs somewhere and the police are still trying to find her. I’m willing to wager the father is MIA.

      • whatever

        What happened to all the ebonics like this first post? Forget how to misspell words all of a sudden? Why would you pretend to be the 12 year olds mother? What a sad life you must live!!!

  • parent

    This shouldnt even be about color, because people are ignorant of all races. You can be yellow purple green blue or whatever.

  • Rayciss really?

    You honestly think that little murderer needs a fund setup? I think it was a hate crime based on you’nique Jeffersons post all by itself. If a white boys parents posted what she did after he killed a black kid for no reason what so ever I bet “whitey” would be charged with a hate crime. While you are walking around blaming the white man for everything bad that’s ever happened in your lifetime might be time to consider this, the sum of your life is equal to the decisions that you have made. Period end of story

    • Susan

      Agreed. This is much worse than the Trayvon Martin case (because of the ages) and I’m sure the president won’t even acknowledge it and Al Sharpton won’t get involved because the victim is the wrong color. America is becoming a racist nation against white people.

  • parent

    Obviously the 12yr old had alot of issues that his parents should have gotten the kid some help if they new that he had some serious problems. Because if the parents had gotten him help this might have never happend. Point blank period.

    • Marsha

      Agree again. Some people have no ideal how to go about getting help. Especially when help can cost a money, when you don’t have it.

  • whatever

    I don’t believe for one second that you’niqua is the 12 year olds mother. No one would be that ignorant. Im sure its a 35 year old man trying to ruffle some feathers. So sad that someone is twisted enough to get entertainment from this. A 9 year old which is probably just a 4th grade boy was killed. His parents are experiencing the worst pain in the world right now. Im sure his mom will be a mess for the rest of her life and his poor dad lost his son. Hold your babies tight and teach them right from wrong. Don’t play race with this. I know its easy to do and some may feel its finally year old is old enough know right from wrong and he should be punished. He should be punished very harshly, he stole a life from a little boy, a son from a mother and father and a best friend from his brother. God bless that family, they are going to need it.

    • Raymond

      you’niqua, clever play on words, but you are not even Black. What a callous and heartless person to flame the racial tension on this family. Hopefully no one in your family will feel the loss of a love one. What you are spelling and sniggering behind your key board is (you nig_er) You are busted

  • whatever

    Well that got messed up lol. What I was trying to say is I know white people get the “black card” pulled on them all the time and now some may feel it’s our turn to pull it but thats not going to accomplish anything. 12 is old enough to know right from wrong end of story.

  • Michael

    I am so pleased that so many level headed people took the time to state the obvious and put whoever in their place!!! Racist?! How very ignorant! U will get no pity from me because you didn’t t take time to raise ur son n teach him wrong from right n show him some love! He confessed to the police! Said he felt unloved! Took pills earlier! Great parenting! U are at blame for this too! Many prayers for the victim n his family, God bless all of u!

    • Susan

      Working with children, I see many troubled ones and have never seen them kill another child because they were’nt happy with their family life. Stop making excuses for someone who is just plain evil like Adam Lanza (my kids went to Sandy Hook) That is a very ignorant excuse but unfortunately the one his slimey attorney will use.

  • Wayne Wright

    He’ll be presented as a poor misunderstood product of the hood being raised by his teenage mother or grandmother and everyone living on the dole. Middle class morality is a foreign concept when the law of the jungle rules. I’m sure it will come out that he bullied the other children and it was merely a matter of time until he hit the big leagues. Too sad for the victim’s family.

  • Sam

    I really have some questions about the parents of the 12 year old boy, and the environment he grew up in. The boy said he felt unloved, and took pills. I don’t know the whole story, but I wonder if his parents should be on trial as well. It does sound a bit extreme to sentence a 12 year old as an adult.

    • Susan

      Extreme? I would like to see your reaction if he killed your child. If he did mine he wouldn’t have a hope in hell to live past the day he walked out of that prison libtard.

  • corey

    First off it’s RACIST. You’re “little angel” did hurt someone. He stabbed a nine year old in the back and killed him. I’m a little sick of the race card being thrown around. The reason that this story is getting so much media coverage is because how freaking UNBELIEVABLE it is that a child that just turned twelve would stabbes a child that is nine. It makes me wonder what this child has been through to do something like this. Even though this child is being charged as an adult YOUR BABY WILL GET OUT OF PRISON ONE day, the other family WILL NEVER SEE THEIR SON AGAIN. Does that register in your head or are you just going to sit there and blame other people for everything that goes wrong im your life? I did feel sorry for you when I first saw this on the news. Not anymore.

  • corey

    It’s too early right now but I’m pretty sure I’m not arguing with that boys mother :/ I need coffee

  • eta45

    jamarion was an honor stoodent and a sports hero and was thinking about going to church and getting his life back together and everything – hims jus made a lil mistake. And when hims get older he be planning on being a reverend, an activist, a community organizer and a leader of the black community. Jamarion jus a victim of white oppresssion, repression and white raaacism by holding de black man down for over 400 hunna yearns. Let muh main man jamarion go free – hims aint did nuffun wrong!

  • Ashley Flint

    You’nique isn’t Jamarion’s mother. His mother’s name is nothing close to that. And she would never blame white people for what happened, and neither would Jamarion. What he did was horrendous, but obviously something had to be going on in his life or mind for him to do something like this. My son and Jamarion have the same father and for all the years I’ve know Jamarion (about 8 years), he has been one of the most polite, respectable kids I’ve ever known. He loves his siblings (even the half white ones) with all his being. I feel terrible for the family of the child whose life was taken, but I will always love Jamarion and I know something had to be going on for him to feel like the only way to get out of his situation was to kill someone so the police would take him away. ANd his mother works hard for her children to try to give them a good life. Everything isn’t always good, but she tries hard and loves her children.

  • Justice1226

    That’s what wrong now. People want to blame everything but the person who murdered. There is always an excuse and nobody thinks anyone should have to take responsibility. There is ALWAYS an excuse as to why someone murders. I don’t care how old or what race you are. They should NOT get away with murder. And yes he should be tried as an adult. They know and grow up much faster now than years ago. They know it’s wrong. I don’t believe people who do heinous crimes should be walking around in society. It’s an effed up world because citizens and lawyers use every excuse in the book to get away with murder. I thought the legal system was to protect you if you were innocent of a crime. I didn’t know it was to get people off who are proven murderers. Poor, poor victims’ family. So sorry for mom of murdered boy. I care more about them than getting a murderer out on a technicality.

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