Judge orders mental exam for murder suspect, 12

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Community members write their thoughts on a memorial dedicated to Michael Connor Verkerke, 9, who was stabbed and killed Monday, Aug. 4, by a 12 year-old-boy, who is currently facing a murder charge, Kentwood, Mich., Aug. 6, 2014. Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen said authorities were still investigating a motive for the attack. (AP Photo/Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a mental competency exam for a 12-year-old boy charged with murder in the stabbing of a 9-year-old boy at a western Michigan playground.

Judge G. Patrick Hillary issued the order Monday at a hearing in Kent County Family Court. Also, defense lawyer Charles Boekeloo told Hillary that his client was waiving his right to a probable cause hearing, clearing the way for a trial.

Authorities say the 12-year-old confessed to stabbing Michael Connor Verkerke on Aug. 4 in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids.

The Associated Press isn't naming the 12-year-old because of his age. He's designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, meaning he'd be sentenced as a juvenile if convicted and then resentenced as an adult once he turns 21.

Michael's funeral is Wednesday.