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Jamarion Lawhorn, 13, sentenced in boy's playground death | News

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Jamarion Lawhorn, 13, sentenced in boy's playground death
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Update.: Jamarion Lawhorn gets a blended sentence for the murder of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke.

He will live in a juvenile home until a determination is made regarding a potential adult sentence when he turns 21.

During his sentencing, the Verkerke family gave emotional testimony. His father, Jared, recalled the day his son was stabbed multiple times by Jamarion.  

"There are no words to explain, holding my dying son in my arms," Verkerke's father said. "These scenes replay in my head and make a horror movie seem docile by comparison."

Jamarion also apologized to the Verkerke family. His mother says the family agrees with the sentence.  

"If he puts the work in, then that's fine. But if not, I agree with the option being there for him to continue to be locked up to protect society," says Dani Verkerke.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A 13-year-old boy who fatally stabbed another boy at a playground in the Grand Rapids area is returning to court for his sentence.

There was no dispute that Jamarion Lawhorn, who was 12 at the time, killed Michael Connor Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood in 2014. But the defense argued that years of abuse at home had wrecked his mental health and overwhelmed his decisions.

A jury convicted the teen of first-degree murder. He'll get his sentence Tuesday.

He will be sentenced as a juvenile, then resentenced as an adult when he turns 21.

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