Boy, 13, Who Was Tried As An Adult Found Guilty Of Stabbing 9-Year-Old To Death

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Thirteen-year-old Jamarion Lawthorn of Kentwood, Michigan, who was tried as an adult for the murder of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke at a playground, has been found guilty.

In August 2014, Lawthorn, then 12, was accused of stabbing Verkerke multiple times at a local playground with a knife, Opposing Views previously reported.

Verkerke ran home injured and collapsed on his porch, where his mother found him. 

Lawthorn called 911 from the playground and told the operator he had stabbed someone.

“Hi. I just stabbed somebody,” Lawhorn said. “Please pick me up. I want to die. I don’t want to be on this Earth anymore.”

While in an ambulance after the stabbing, Lawthorn allegedly told paramedics he had been planning the stabbing for over a year, WOOD Radio reported.

“He wanted to die and thought if he were arrested, he would have been put on the electric chair or lethal injection because he saw it on TV,” one paramedic said, according to court documents.

Regardless of his alleged admissions of guilt, Lawthorn pleaded not guilty to an open murder charge in juvenile court.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder after three days of testimony.

"It's my son. He's a baby. He's charged as an adult but ya know at the end of the day he was still born March 14th, 2002. He's still a kid," Lawthorn’s mother, Anita, said.  "I understand the severity of the case, but he's not an adult and I know he has to be punished for his actions and I do not believe he should get an adult sentence."

Prosecutors argued that Lawthorn had planned to kill someone for a long time, while the defense claimed he did it to escape a home of neglect and abuse by his parents, FOX 17 reports.

Lawthorn is the youngest convicted murderer in Kent County history. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Sources: Opposing Views, WOOD Radio, FOX 17 / Photo Source: FOX 17