Official: Teen who killed boy at playground making progress

Posted at 9:56 AM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 10:28:07-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — An official says a 13-year-old boy who fatally stabbed another boy at a playground in Kentwood has shown progress while held in a juvenile detention facility.

Kent County probation officer Dan Cory on Tuesday gave an update to a judge in Grand Rapids, saying Jamarion Lawhorn is “doing well” but suffers post-traumatic stress disorder after being raised in an abusive home and had periodic “outbursts” at the facility in Evart.

There was no dispute that Lawhorn, who was 12 in 2014, killed 9-year-old Connor Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood. The defense argued that years of abuse at home had ruined the boy’s mental health, but the jury convicted him last year of first-degree murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.