Playground Stabbing Suspect to Get Mental Competency Exam

Michael Verkerke died after being stabbed on a playground in Kentwood.
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A judge has ordered a mental competency exam for a 12-year-old boy charged with murder in the stabbing of a 9-year-old boy at a western Michigan playground.
Judge G. Patrick Hillary issued the order Monday at a hearing in Kent County Family Court. Defense lawyer Charles Boekeloo told Hillary that his client was waiving his right to a probable cause hearing, clearing the way for a trial.
Authorities say Jamarion Lawhorn confessed to stabbing Michael Connor Verkerke on Aug. 4 in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids.
He's designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, meaning he'd be sentenced as a juvenile if convicted and then resentenced as an adult once he turns 21.
Michael's funeral is Wednesday.

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