GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A judge says a 13-year-old boy is competent for trial in the fatal stabbing of a 9-year-old boy at a western Michigan playground.
The decision by Kent County Family Court Judge Paul Denenfeld is in line with a state expert's finding. It conflicts with the opinion from an expert hired by the boy's lawyer that the child couldn't sufficiently understand the charges and aid in his defense.
Defense lawyer Charles Boekeloo tells The Grand Rapids Press he plans an insanity defense. Trial is set to start July 15.
The boy is charged with murder in the death in August of Michael Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids.
The Associated Press isn't naming the boy because of his age. He was 12 at the time of the killing.
Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids