Parents Of 12-Year-Old Murder Suspect Charged With Child Abuse
Kent County prosecutors have charged the parents of a 12-year-old murder suspect with felony child abuse.
Anita Lawhorn and her husband Bernard Harrold have both been charged with third-degree child abuse. They are accused of assaulting Lawhorn’s 12-year-old son Jamarion, who has been charged with murdering a 9-year-old boy in August.
According to court documents, Jamarion told a Child Protective Services caseworker that Harrold had whipped him with an extension cord, and that Harrold also sometimes punched him in the chest and stomach. Jamarion also claimed that his mother had recently whipped him with a belt on his backside and the back of his legs.
When the caseworker spoke to Anita Lawhorn and Harrold, they admitted to whipping Jamarion.
Jamarion was charged with murder after allegedly stabbing 9-year-old Connor Verkerke to death on a Kentwood playground in August.
Earlier this month, a judge declared Jamarion’s mother and stepfather unfit to have custody of their three other children. The children were removed from their care after police found little food, no utilities, and cocaine in the bathroom of the home while searching it the day following the murder.
Jamarion had been removed from the couple's custody in 2013, and was sent to live with his father in New York. He returned to Michigan in June for a family gathering, and never returned to his father.
If convicted, Lawhorn and Harrold could each spend up to two years in prison. They are currently free on bond.