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Defense attorney hopes Kent County's youngest killer has 'normal life'

Posted at 12:53 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 00:53:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Defense Attorney Charles Clapp is calling his client, Kent County's youngest killer Jamarion Lawhorn, a 'magnificent' story of rehabilitation.

Lawhorn was released from Evart Youth Home just over 6 years after his sentence for killing 9-year-old Connor Verkerke. Lawhorn attacked the child at random on a Kentwood playground in 2014. At the time, he told officials he hoped the act would cause him to die to separate him from the severe physical abuse at home.

During his time in Evart, Lawhorn worked extensively with therapists and support advocates. He even became close with Verkerke's grandmother, who has offered him forgiveness for what he did.

"I think the idea is to give people a chance for redemption, and this young man earned it," said Attorney Charles Clapp.

Lawhorn will now be live with a family in Jenison who have chosen to take him under their wing. This is his first step to transition back into society.

The judge will decide every 6 months on whether or not he would like to keep Lawhorn on probation or discontinue his sentence.

"I want them to be happy. I want him to have a normal life," said Clapp. "I want him to have a normal life, maybe have a family and have kids and and live like most normal people and enjoy themselves. That I think is the most important. He is such a great young man."