Sentence next for teen convicted in playground death of boy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy who fatally stabbed another boy at a playground in the Grand Rapids area is returning to court for his sentence.

There was no dispute that the boy, who was 12 at the time, killed Michael Connor Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood in 2014. But the defense argued that years of abuse at home had wrecked his mental health and overwhelmed his decisions.

A jury convicted the teen of first-degree murder. He’ll get his sentence on Wednesday.

The Associated Press isn’t naming the boy because of his age. He will be sentenced as a juvenile, then resentenced as an adult when he turns 21.

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