Trial begins for mom of young convicted murderer

Posted at 9:08 AM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 16:45:45-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The mother of the youngest person ever convicted of murder in Kent County goes on trial today for child abuse.

Anita Lawhorn is charged with 3rd Degree Child Abuse against her son, Jamarion.  Jamarion, now 13, was convicted earlier this month of killing Connor Verkerke, 9, on a Kentwood playground in July of 2014.  Stories of abuse and neglect of Jamarion were the focus of the defense in that case.

Jamarion was called to testify Wednesday, but invoked the 5th Amendment and will not testify against his mother.

Last October, Jamarion's stepfather pleaded guilty to child abuse.  Anita Lawhorn has also been convicted of welfare fraud.

A jury for Anita's trial was set on Tuesday.  Opening statements and the first witnesses are expected Wednesday.