Jamarion Lawhorn, the 12-year-old boy currently enmeshed in a tangled and tragic series of events in Kent County, has been found competent to stand trial by a forensic examiner.
According to the exam, which ran to 33 pages and was conducted by Dr. Susan Tremonti of the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry, the preteen boy can be tried for his crimes. The report says that he is aware of what he has done, understands the charges against him, and is able to assist in his own defense.
His mother, however, disagrees. Anita Lawhorn, who is currently facing child abuse charges for the role she played in Jamarion’s tragic childhood, says that at 12 years of age, no one is fully aware of what they are doing. She feels that he is still a child and cannot possibly understand what is going on.
But Jamarion himself is determined. Seated in court he was polite and attentive, and when questioned by the judge about the forensic exam, he agreed that yes, he understood exactly what it meant.
Charles Boekeloo and Judith Raskiewicz, Jamarion’s defense attorney and court appointed guardian, requested of the judge a two week period in which to review and discuss the report. On January 8th the court will reconvene, by which time Boekeloo will know if he intends to request that an independent exam be conducted.
Jamarion is charged with murder, and will be tried as an adult, for the fatal stabbing of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke on a playground in August last year. At the time, living with abusive parents and having a long history of being treated very harshly, he said he wanted to die, and hoped to take someone with him.
A tragic story with a tragic end for one little boy. But for Jamarion, it seems, the road ahead will be a long one, and he is only in the very early stages of this heartbreaking journey. At this point, we can only hope that there will be some light at the end of the tunnel for him, and for the others involved in this time of suffering.