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'Blood like a river,' slain boy's mother testifies


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- On the afternoon nine-year-old Connor Verkerke was killed, his accused assailant hid a knife in the sand of a Kentwood playground and patiently waited to strike, the assistant prosecutor said in opening statement's today.

"When Connor turns his back on the defendant, he comes at him with this knife, stabs him three times in the back and once in the arm,'' Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Bramble told jurors assembled for the felony murder trial of 13-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn.

The stabbing took place Aug. 4, 2014 at a playground at Pinewood Village mobile home park after Verkerke fell off a slide. Prosecutors contend Lawhorn, then 12, had been planning to kill someone for more than a year.

Suspect in Kentwood home invasions charged


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man accused of breaking into several Kentwood homes in recent months was charged Tuesday afternoon.

Clifford Washington, 22, is accused of home invasion, and receiving and concealing stolen property.

Police say they responded to multiple early-morning home invasions in the Bailey's Grove area over the past several months.

Investigators on a surveillance detail arrested Washington Sunday night into Monday morning. They said Washington also lives in the same neighborhood where those home invasions happened.


Jury seated in Jamarion Lawhorn murder trial


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A jury was seated Monday afternoon in the murder trial for 13-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn, who is accused of fatally stabbing a younger boy at a Kentwood playground last August.

A Kent County judge this summer ruled that Lawhorn, now 13, is competent to assist in his own defense for the slaying of Connor Verkerke at the Pinewood Village mobile home park after Verkerke fell off a slide.

A pool of 80 potential jurors assembled today for jury selection at the Kent County Courthouse in downtown Grand Rapids; a 14-member panel was seated just before 1 p.m.

Testimony will get underway Tuesday morning in Judge Paul Denenfeld's 6th floor courtroom. The trial is expected to last through Thursday.

Lawhorn is charged as an adult with felony murder. He's been held at Kent County's juvenile detention facility since his arrest last August.

Glow Ball Golf Fundraiser Event at the Pines

Glow Ball Golf Fundraiser Event at the Pines

Terry Hunt is heading up a Charity event on September 11th and then again on September 18th for his sister in law Monica Hunt, 53 years of age, who is suffering from cancer.

This will be an unusual event; it’s Glow Ball Golf, to be held at the Pines located at 5050 Byron Center Ave, phone number 616-538-8380. Terry and his family are paying for all the equipment to be used for this unusual event and all the equipment will remain at the golf course for charity events to be held in the future, thereby saving participants a lot of money.

This event is scheduled to start at dusk on both dates but participants are asked to be at the golf course one hour earlier. The cost for this event is $35 on September 11th and $25 on September 18th. It will be 4-man teams but if you do not have a team to play with, don’t let that stop you. You will be paired up with other people so you can play. Terry can be reached at 616-406-7701.

Police look for man who tried to rob Kentwood Bank


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - Kentwood Police are looking for the suspect that tried to rob the PNC Bank on 44th St. SE, Saturday morning. Investigators say the man entered the bank around 9:30 a.m. wearing a mask that appeared to be made of duct tape, an orange knit cap, sunglasses, and a black coat covered with a yellow reflective sleeveless vest.

He told the employees he was there to rob the bank, after spending approximately one minute in the bank, the suspect took off without any money. Employees told investigators that they did not see a weapon and the suspect didn't say he had one.

The suspect left the bank on foot heading South. A Grand Rapids Police K-9 unit was called in to track the suspect. The track ended in a nearby parking lot.

The suspect, described as a white man, 20-30 years old, standing 5'8"-5'10", weighing 160-175 pounds and was carrying a medium sized red duffle type bag.

Kentwood girl battling cancer gets Horsey House Call


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Kentwood child fighting brain cancer received a special house call Thursday.

Zip the therapy horse surprised 4-year-old Madison Pagel at her home in Kentwood.

It's part of a program called Horsey House Calls put on by Camp Casey.

Back to School Rally at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church

Back to School Rally at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church

Join Bishop Marvin L. Sapp and Lighthouse Full Life Center Church for the 18th Annual Back to School Rally on Saturday, August 22nd from 2 – 5pm on the academic campus. This is located in Kingdom Square, 600 Burton St. SE in Grand Rapids, MI. This includes students Pre-K through 12th Grade.

During this event, families in the community will receive free backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, clothes, food, various games and much more. Please join the estimated 2000 people who will partake in this important event.

Additional information at 616-241-5448.