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Town in shock after boy's playground stabbing

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http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/justice/michigan-boy-stabbing-death/index.html?c=homepage-t

Town in shock after boy's playground stabbing

(CNN) - A family is grieving and a Michigan community is in shock Wednesday night after a 9-year-old boy was stabbed to death at a playground in his neighborhood this week.

The shock felt in Kentwood, just outside of Grand Rapids, is as much over the sudden and senseless loss of Michael Conner Verkerke as it is over the circumstances of his death: The person accused of stabbing him was a 12-year-old he had just met at the playground.

Conner was playing with three other children Monday "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 to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker.

Lawhorn was charged Tuesday with murder. Though he'll be tried in a juvenile court, it will be as an adult, according to Becker, who added that his office has not yet decided whether the murder charges will be first or second degree.

Charles Boekeloo, Lawhorn's court-appointed attorney, said he met his client for the first time at his arraignment Tuesday but had no further comment. Boekeloo entered a not guilty plea on the youth's behalf.

Police said that 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. He wasn't. "He called 911," he said.

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.

Stacy said that when the first officers arrived on the scene, they ran toward the playground, which was in the opposition direction. That prompted Lawhorn to raise his voice for the first time, according to Stacy.

"Hey! I'm over here!" Stacy said he shouted. "Let's do this. I'm ready," he said as he walked toward them with his hands on his head, Stacy said.

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w.t.f.

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Wow, I really don't know what to make of this. That is one troubled 12 year old to behave in such a way.

 

Thoughts are with the family of the victim :(

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And where exactly were his parents at the time?

 

If your kids plays outside with his FRIENDS!!! sure, but in a public playfield then you MUST be with him! While I agree that the kid who stabbed needs to be convicted the parents should be as well!

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And where exactly were his parents at the time?

 

If your kids plays outside with his FRIENDS!!! sure, but in a public playfield then you MUST be with him! While I agree that the kid who stabbed needs to be convicted the parents should be as well!

 

Don't be so daft. Kids go to public playgrounds without their parents, all the time, all around the world.

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Don't be so daft. Kids go to public playgrounds without their parents, all the time, all around the world.

 

 

This is the prime example that they shouldn't. Not to even mention the pedo-bears out there. But of course, it's always easier to balme everyone else rather than yourself for bad parenting.

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This is the prime example that they shouldn't. Not to even mention the pedo-bears out there. But of course, it's always easier to balme everyone else rather than yourself for bad parenting.

 

So, because of the extremely rare case, you want to lock all kids in the house and never let them go anywhere without an escort?

 

Might as well not bother having any in the first place, because if you treat them like that, they'll never become independent.

 

Clearly, you have no kids of your own.  Which renders any opinion you might have, irrelevant.

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This is the prime example that they shouldn't. Not to even mention the pedo-bears out there. But of course, it's always easier to balme everyone else rather than yourself for bad parenting.

 

So, because of the extremely rare case, you want to lock all kids in the house and never let them go anywhere without an escort?

 

Might as well not bother having any in the first place, because if you treat them like that, they'll never become independent.

 

Clearly, you have no kids of your own.  Which renders any opinion you might have, irrelevant.

I have to agree with FloatingFatman here. 

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Wow, I really don't know what to make of this. That is one troubled 12 year old to behave in such a way.

 

Thoughts are with the family of the victim :(

Agreed. What could have happened to him in his short life that would cause him to act and talk like this? He obviously has some kind of psychosis whether brought on by his lifestyle or simply just born this way. The child needs help, not incarceration. Perhaps a psychological hospital for Children.

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Agreed. What could have happened to him in his short life that would cause him to act and talk like this? He obviously has some kind of psychosis whether brought on by his lifestyle or simply just born this way. The child needs help, not incarceration. Perhaps a psychological hospital for Children.

 

I'm going to guess at a LOT of problems at home, possibly abuse of some kind, drove him to lash out in this way.

 

As you say, this kid needs help far more than he needs punishment.

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Somehow reminds me of this:

 

 

A very unexpected and shocking scene, just like this news. :(

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Hardly shocking.

 

This sort of news occurs all the time, unfortunately :/

 

Nothing shocks me about human nature any more.

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Hardly shocking.

 

This sort of news occurs all the time, unfortunately :/

 

Nothing shocks me about human nature any more.

 

The youth of this country is so screwed up anymore this sort of thing is probably considered to be .... Boys will be boys.

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The youth of this country is so screwed up anymore this sort of thing is probably considered to be .... Boys will be boys.

It's the whole world.

 

And it's not gotten worse, things have been the same for thousands of years.

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Well that's disturbing. :/

It would be interesting to hear what he says his reasoning was. From the article it sounds to me like he was struggling with something and thought that the best way to end things was to hurt someone else to get the full penalty. But at 12 years old?!

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It's the whole world.

 

And it's not gotten worse, things have been the same for thousands of years.

 

Yes and no... The attitudes haven't changed a lot, but the opportunities for doing really stupid things have increased, as has the reporting of them.

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So, because of the extremely rare case, you want to lock all kids in the house and never let them go anywhere without an escort?

 

Might as well not bother having any in the first place, because if you treat them like that, they'll never become independent.

 

Clearly, you have no kids of your own.  Which renders any opinion you might have, irrelevant.

 

We live in an extremely paranoid world now. You can barely even look at a child these days without someone thinking you are a potential sexual predator. I know some incredibly  protective parents.. I don't have a child so i can't comment how it feels to let your child out of your site, though i do work with children so i see day in day out how paranoid people are.

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There are no more sexual predators out there now than there were 30 years ago. We're just better at catching them and reporting on it.  Paranoia does nothing except ruin your kids lives.  There's far greater chance that they'll come to harm within the home than outside it.

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When I was a kid of 10-12 we'd ride our bikes several miles from home with no worries, other than making it home in time for mom to ring the dinner bell (yes, we had one.) Our biggest fear was getting caught doing something stupid.

Our older kids, raised in the 80's, had a bit shorter leash, mainly because we no longer lived in a rural home, it was far suburban bordering on rural. Kids rode the neighborhood and surrounds with impunity, nothing ever happened.

Come time for our youngest who grew up in the 2000's we were nowhere near so casual - too many local incidents within a few klicks to allow it.

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When I was a kid of 10-12 we'd ride our bikes several miles from home with no worries, other than making it home in time for mom to ring the dinner bell (yes, we had one.) Our biggest fear was getting caught doing something stupid.

Our older kids, raised in the 80's, had a bit shorter leash, mainly because we no longer lived in a rural home, it was far suburban bordering on rural. Kids rode the neighborhood and surrounds with impunity, nothing ever happened.

Come time for our youngest who grew up in the 2000's we were nowhere near so casual - too many local incidents within a few klicks to allow it.

Same here. The town I grew up in had say 10,000 people.We also didn't have computers, or tv's with more than 4 channels. That was in the 1970's. Now it has 75,000 people. With the growth of people so grows the probability of one or more being a bad seed. (pedophile, etc.) The probability of hearing about it grows too with the multiple forms of media present today.Although, in my small town, when "stuff" happened everyone "heard" about it pretty damn quick. The media of that town/day was word of mouth. 

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When I was a kid of 10-12 we'd ride our bikes several miles from home with no worries, other than making it home in time for mom to ring the dinner bell (yes, we had one.) Our biggest fear was getting caught doing something stupid.

Our older kids, raised in the 80's, had a bit shorter leash, mainly because we no longer lived in a rural home, it was far suburban bordering on rural. Kids rode the neighborhood and surrounds with impunity, nothing ever happened.

Come time for our youngest who grew up in the 2000's we were nowhere near so casual - too many local incidents within a few klicks to allow it.

Don't you live in Detroit? You can't compare one of the most violent cities in western civilization with the experience of the average person. Also, your comparison is flawed as you're comparing when you lived in a rural area to when you lived in a more built-up area.

 

Society isn't any more dangerous than it once was - in fact statistically crime is lower. People are just a lot more aware of the risks and incidents like this get a lot more exposure. Everywhere I've lived, from towns to cities, has been safe for children to be out on their own. I see children out on their own or with friends all the time and can't recall any major incidents making the news. Of course parents should be sensible about allowing their children out for long periods, as much to ensure they aren't getting up to mischief as to concern over their safety, but these incidents are exceptional.

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Hardly shocking.

 

This sort of news occurs all the time, unfortunately :/

 

Nothing shocks me about human nature any more.

Exactly the same here, its quite sad that we're just expecting things like this to happen these days!

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Yes and no... The attitudes haven't changed a lot, but the opportunities for doing really stupid things have increased, as has the reporting of them.

Not to mention an increasing population.

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Clearly, you have no kids of your own.  Which renders any opinion you might have, irrelevant.

 

Holy ****. How about stop trying to be superior without even knowing the first thing about me huh?

 

Maybe you should go and raise your kid rather than talking over the internet so he/she wouldnt be the next one who stabs someone huh? ****.

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Holy ****. How about stop trying to be superior without even knowing the first thing about me huh?

 

Maybe you should go and raise your kid rather than talking over the internet so he/she wouldnt be the next one who stabs someone huh? ****.

 

I have 2 kids, both very well behaved and who wouldn't even consider doing any such thing as that. One 14, the other 11.  I let them go out when they like, without supervision, and they come home at the time I ask them to.. No muss, no fuss, and no danger.

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