GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – The mother and stepfather of a 12-year-old boy accused of murder in the Grand Rapids area are scheduled for trial March 23 on child abuse charges.
They’re accused of striking the boy with an extension cord, months before he was charged with killing a 9-year-old boy at a Kentwood playground. The Grand Rapids Press reports the mother says the stepfather abused him.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: The Political Road Ahead
A psychiatric expert said last month the 12-year-old is incompetent to stand trial. The opinion from an expert hired by the boy’s defense attorney conflicts with a state expert’s finding.
According to police, 9-year-old Michael Verkerke was playing with his 7-year-old brother, his 9-year-old best friend and his alleged killer on Aug. 4, 2014, when the 12-year-old boy pulled a knife and stabbed Verkerke in the back.
Verkerke ran to his home and collapsed, bleeding on the porch, while the alleged attacker went to a neighbor’s home nearby to call police and turn himself in.READ MORE: 'My Name Is Sara' Film On Holocaust Survivor Premieres In Metro Detroit
According to the delinquency petition filed in Kent County Circuit Court, the 12-year-old told investigators he stabbed Verkerke because he wanted to go to jail, that he is “bad and always does stupid things,” and that he thought he’d be killed “for doing something like this,” according to The Grand Rapids Press.
The Associated Press isn’t naming the 12-year-old because of his age and isn’t naming the mother and stepfather to avoid identifying the boy.
The boys’ siblings have since been removed from the home. Authorities say the Department of Human Services was aware of abuse, long before the 12-year-old was accused of the stabbing, but didn’t remove the children.MORE NEWS: Dearborn Homecoming Festival Kicks Off This Weekend
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