Connor Verkerke’s grandmother writes book about grief, forgiveness

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The grandmother of a West Michigan boy who was killed by another boy published a book detailing her grief.

Connor Verkerke was 9 when 12-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn stabbed him at a playground near his home in Kentwood. This happened in 2014.

Lawhorn was tried in court as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder. Lawhorn's mother and father were both convicted of child abuse and had their other children temporarily removed from their home.

"Hey, Nana!" by Toni Nunemaker

"Hey, Nana!" by Toni Nunemaker

Connor's grandmother, Toni Nunemaker, wrote "Hey, Nana!" as a tribute to her grandson. She says Connor always referred to her as "Hey, Nana!"

While healing from Connor's death, Nunemaker says she became friends with Lawhorn's mother, Anita. Since his death, Anita spent time in jail and lost several jobs. In the book, she writes about how the two have gotten to know each other and how they've even driven together to visit Lawhorn.

Lawhorn's probation officer last May said Lawhorn is showing progress while at a juvenile detention center. He's "doing well" but suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving an abusive home life.

"Hey, Nana!" can be found on Amazon.

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