12-Year-Old To Be Tried As Adult In Fatal Stabbing Of Playmate: ‘I Just Stabbed Someone…Come Get Me, I Want To Die’
Investigators are left confused after a 12-year-old boy allegedly stabbed his 9-year-old playmate, Michael Verkerke, on a Michigan playground two days ago. According to Detroit Free Press, four children—including the young suspect—were playing at the Pinebrook Village mobile home park in Grand Rapids, Michigan when the preteen pulled out a knife and allegedly stabbed Michael several times in the back. A stunned Michael ran home screaming and collapsed on his porch, where his hysterical mother, waited for paramedics to arrive.
“We were sitting on our deck,” said neighbor Barb Poelman, who witnessed the aftermath of the stabbing. “We heard the kids run across the front … screaming. He (Michael) ran with the kids that were with him.”
“She (Michael’s mother) was screaming, ‘Where is the ambulance?’ while her boy was laying on the porch bleeding,” Barb continued. “The kids, I thought they were just playing.”
Meanwhile, resident Glenn Stacey says that he was approached by the accused boy, who asked to use his cellphone. Glenn says that the boy remained calm and dialed 911.
“I gave him my phone, and I heard him tell the 911 operator, ‘I just stabbed someone. Come and get me. I want to die.’ It was just a sad situation.”
“The only time he raised his voice was when the police came,” Glenn added.
When officers arrived on the scene, they first went to help a wounded Michael while the 12-year-old tried to get their attention by reportedly yelling, “Hello. I’m right here. You’re going the wrong way.”
Officers took the preteen to a hospital to be evaluated. He was later transported to a juvenile detention center. Investigators are still searching for a motive for the crime. The child pleaded not guilty to the open murder charge being brought against him in court yesterday. He is currently being held without bond and will be tried for the crime in the same manner as an adult, says Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Laura Clifton.
“This charging route was taken because if a juvenile is charged as a juvenile in juvenile court, the judge would have no option but to discharge at the age of 21,” she said.
Because he has been charged with open murder, if he is convicted, he will be eligible for a blended sentence.
“For example, a juvenile can have a juvenile disposition, the term used for a juvenile sentence, but also have an adult sentence that is delayed — basically held in abeyance,” Laura explained.
This is such a sad story.