Judge Refuses to Overturn Jamarion Lawhorn Conviction

Jamarion Lawhorn to be Sentenced November 4

13-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn’s defense attorney stood before a judge recently and explained why he believed that Jamarion’s conviction should be thrown out. BUt the judge, as it turns out, didn’t agree.

According to the defense attorney, Jamarion was clearly suffering from some kind of mental illness when he stabbed and killed 9-year-old Connor Verkerke on a playground last year in Kent County. In addition, he also argued that the jury should have been offered involuntary manslaughter as an alternative conviction option.

But according to Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Denenfeld, these arguments just aren’t enough to change Jamarion Lawhorn’s fate. The jury, he says, weighed the issue of Jamarion’s mental health during the course of the trial and found him to be competent. Also, the Judge disagreed that a 15 year felony was appropriate for a premeditated murder charge.

Jamarion Lawhorn was convicted on September 4th in the Kent County Circuit Court of first degree murder. He was charged as an adult and, as a result, was convicted as such. The youngest person to ever be charged with such a serious crime in Kent County, his case and subsequent trial received a considerable amount of media scrutiny.

It also brought to the public’s attention the desperate conditions in which he and his siblings allegedly lived. As a result, his siblings were removed from his parent’s home and both his mother and stepfather were charged with child abuse.

Jamarion’s sentencing is scheduled for November 4th. Due to his age, this particular sentence could be treated differently by Judge Denenfeld.  One option includes ordering that Jamarion Lawhorn be held until he reaches an adult age, either 19 or 21, and then reassessing his case.

If this is the option that the Judge chooses, then at the time of the reassessment, a judge or another jury would need to make the decision as to whether or not Jamarion Lawhorn is released, or put back into prison. If the choice is prison, a further decision would need to made regarding whether it will be for life or a fixed number of years.

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