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New details in the playground stabbing death of Connor Verkerke

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Connor VerkerkeKENTWOOD, Mich.- It was a crime that shocked the country, a 9-year-old boy stabbed to death on a Kentwood playground.
The suspect is just 12-years-old.

FOX 17 is learning more about the night it happened from newly unsealed court documents.

These search warrant affidavits have been made public for the first time since that horrific August night.

They detail what 12-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn, the youngest person accused of murder in Kent County history, told police and what test results revealed in his system.

On Aug. 4 on a quiet playground in Kentwood, four boys, all of them 12 or younger, played together in their final weeks of summer vacation.

Court documents show Connor Verkerke along with his younger brother and another 9-year-old boy had just met Jamarion and the four played together for nearly 20 minutes .

Little did the three boys know, Jamarion wasn't there just to play.

Court documents show Connor was attempting to climb up the slide, but slipped and fell to the ground and that's when Jamarion attacked stabbing him multiple times including at least once in the back and once in the arm.

One boy ran back to his home, while Connor’s 7-year-old brother attempted to carry his dying brother to their parents for help.

They tried to provide aid, but the 9-year-old died from the brutal attack shortly after.

Meanwhile, Jamarion contacted a stranger asking to use his phone.

Court documents show he called 911 and told dispatch he stabbed someone and to come pick him up.

"He repeated to the dispatcher that he needed to be picked up and was upset that it was taking the police so long to get there."

Jamarion was taken to the hospital, where he was interviewed by police. He told them he wanted to die, saying he had taken an unknown amount of "little red pills” that he found.

He said he took a knife from his home with the intent of stabbing someone and that "he did not know who."

While at the hospital police took a "plasma gel sample" from Jamarion, which came back positive for two drugs, an antidepressant and an antihistamine. Both prescription drugs were found inside Jamarion’s home.

A search warrant from police, signed Aug. 15 asked for a quantities analysis of the two drugs to learn exactly how much was in Jamarion’s system.

FOX 17 also learning through court documents that Lawhorn does intend to claim an insanity defense.

There will be a closed meeting between the judge, the prosecutor and Jamarion’s lawyer on Oct. 28.

There is no set date for when the case against him will move forward right now.

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13 comments

  • Aoc92

    This story has led to a bit of an epiphany for me. I’ve never been a believer of curses and spirits but in my opinion this child was clearly possessed by something. There’s no other explanation for a 12 year old child having these kinds of thoughts and motivations.

  • Polish Princess

    An insanity defense isn’t going to help, in my opinion. The boy showed he was capable of rational thought when he called 911 to turn himself in.

  • I

    He is 12 years old. There is no way he understands the significance of being able to live and how precious it is. Him going to jail will do nothing. Some type of psychological help is the only way to go about it. Very little logic goes in to thoughts from a child. Especially one beaten, not provided with adequate food or given any love. If your on here to cast judgement, go fix your family first. I’m sure they have some complaints about how you act.

    • BethZeller JosephDean

      He was not in a age where empathy has not established yet, stop defending this evil act. Doesnt matter if he was abused, lots and LOTS of people are abused that do NOT go out stabbing random people. If he gets out later because of his age, would you be comfortable with letting your children play with him?

  • m l

    He should be put away. He will do it again if let out. Maybe he doesn’t like white people, just playing the same card the blacks play. Praying for the little boys family that lost there son. And praying for the other boy and his family as well, sad story.

  • Dee

    I feel bad for his abuse but he knew what he did was wrong, evil, and must be punished. He needs to be locked up someplace where kids can be rehabilitated. Not with adults, but no let out either. What he did to Connor was indefensible and cruel.

  • Dm

    Paula Leonard cps worker moonlighting as a PI all night as she was working for cps. Does this affect her ability to do her tax payer paid day job?

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