US: 9-year-old boy stabbed to death by 12-year-old

  • PTI, Chicago
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2014 16:45 IST

In a shocking incident, a 12-year-old boy allegedly stabbed to death a 9-year-old boy at a playground in the US state of Michigan.

The incident took place at the playground in Kentwood, Michigan, where Michael Conner Verkerke was allegedly stabbed to death by another boy he had just met at the playground.

Conner was playing with three other children "when one of the children, for an unknown reason, pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed one of the other children," a Kentwood police department statement said.

Police say the attacker is 12-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn.

A motive, if there is one, is unknown at this point, as the boys were not acquainted, according Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker.

Lawhorn was charged on Tuesday with murder.

Though he will be tried in a juvenile court, it will be as an adult, Becker said, adding that his office has not yet decided whether the murder charges will be first or second degree.

Charles Boekeloo, Lawhorn's court-appointed attorney, entered a not guilty plea on the youth's behalf.

Police said after he was stabbed, Conner managed to run back home before he collapsed on the porch. An ambulance rushed him to a hospital, where he died Monday night.

Lawhorn, meanwhile, "left the playground then went to a nearby residence where he asked to use the phone," Kentwood chief of police Thomas Hillen said.

"I thought he was calling for his parents to come pick him up," homeowner Glen Stacy told CNN, adding that "he called 911".

Stacy described Lawhorn as "calm and collected" throughout, and that he told the 911 dispatcher, "Hi, I just stabbed someone, please pick me up and come kill me, I want to end my life."

The boy then calmly handed back the phone with the operator still on the line, according to Stacy, and they waited for police to arrive. "At no point did I feel threatened," he said.

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