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RAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County’s youngest convicted killer has lost his appeal. In a ruling issued Thursday, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the murder conviction of Jamarion Lawhorn. Lawhorn’s lawyers argued that the evidence clearly showed he was guilty but mentally ill when he stabbed 9-year-old Connor Verkerke to death on a Kentwood playground in August 2014. A jury found Jamarion guilty of first-degree murder in September 2015. The teen apologized to Connor Verkerke’s family ahead of his sentencing Nov. 4, 2015. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected their arguments, but said the issue of whether Lawhorn should have been found guilty but mentally ill was “a close call.” Jamarion, now, 15 remains at the Muskegon River Youth Home near Evart where his mom visits him regularly.