Great-grandmother of 9-year-old boy fatally stabbed at Michigan playground talks to FOX59

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COLUMBUS, Ind. (Aug. 6, 2014)-- A great-grandmother is talking to FOX59 after her 9-year-old great-grandson was stabbed to death by a 12-year-old boy at a playground in Kentwood, Michigan.

Police said four children were at the playground inside a mobile home park Monday when Jamarion Lawhorn, 12, pulled out a knife and began stabbing Michael “Conner” Verkerke, 9, repeatedly in the back. Lawhorn then ran across the street and asked to use a neighbor’s cell phone.

“He approached me at my house, I offered him my phone and I assumed he was calling his mother,'" said Glen Stacy. "Lo and behold he was calling 911 to say `I stabbed someone, please pick me up, I want to end my life.'"

Jamarion Lawhorn

Jamarion Lawhorn

Lawhorn was charged as an adult with open murder Tuesday in juvenile court.

“He was a great child. He was a supportive child. If you wanted to do anything, Conner was right there with you to help you,” explained Columbus Native Barbara Nunemaker. Nunemaker is Verkerke’s great-grandmother.

Nunemaker said her daughter called Monday evening to say Verkerke had been murdered.

“She took her heart out and tore it up and put it in the telephone. That is all I can say. We had a good cry. It is so senseless. I have a lot empathy for the family.  Not my family but for the boy`s family who had this occur. There is something wrong with a family when that happens,” Nunemaker emotionally explained.

Michael Conner Verkerke

Michael Conner Verkerke

Nunemaker says Verkerke’s younger brother, Cameron, was also at the playground when Conner was stabbed. Nunemaker tells FOX59 Conner asked Cameron to help carry him to their house just a few blocks away from the playground so he could say ‘goodbye’ to his parents.

“He said to Cameron, 'Help me get up and get back to the house; I want to kiss Mom and Dad one more time before I die.' So, he knew,” said Nunemaker.

Conner Verkerke collapsed on the porch at the family’s home and died a short time later at the local hospital.

The great-grandmother says she is sending prayers from Indiana for both boys.

“We feel it was not right, not just for us, but for the other family to have to go through all of this,” said Nunemaker.

The family is planning a memorial service for Conner Verkerke in Michigan.

If you would like to help Verkerke’s family, a fund has been set up to pay for funeral expenses.

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