Young Kent Co. killer to be free in a year

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —  One of Kent County’s youngest murderers found out Thursday he will be free in one year.

Jared Seagraves, who was 14 at the time, shot 20-year-old Michael Haminger in September 2012. Haminger, who was dating Seagraves’ sister, was allegedly shot after an argument over homework in front of the family home in Walker.

Seagraves pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sent to the Muskegon River Youth Home in Northern Michigan.  While at the youth home, Seagraves earned his GED diploma and started taking community college courses. Seagraves, now 20, also learned he was on the autism spectrum.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Denenfeld described Seagraves record at the youth home as “sterling.” He determined Seagraves will spend one year in the Kent County jail followed by four years of reporting probation, which Seagraves must abide by a set of rules or face prison time.

“I just want to again apologize for all the pain and trouble I’ve caused Mrs. Haminger and her family,” Seagraves told the judge. “I’m just glad to be able to continue my sentence here and carry on.”

Sherry Haminger, the mother of the victim and grandmother to Michael Haminger’s six-year-old boy who was born after his father’s death, has been to virtually every hearing for Seagraves for the last six years. Haminger says she sees remorse from her son’s killer.

“Having been the mother of special needs children, I have a little bit better understanding of all of what’s been going on here,” Haminger said after the sentencing.

Haminger says she hopes others see what happened here and learn that acting in anger can lead to tragedy.

“He has seen more of life than my son did,” Haminger said. “But for the grace of God, I could have been sitting on the Seagrave’s side of this courtroom. One of my children could have acted out and done something that they didn’t really mean to do.”

Keishawn Mann, who killed his mother’s boyfriend when he was 13, was also in the courtroom. Mann was released from the same program as Seagraves, and the two have become friends. Mann acts as a type of mentor to Seagraves.

“I think it’s a success story, I really do,” said Vicki Seidl, the chief assistant Kent County juvenile prosecutor. “At the end of the day, we’re supposed to rehabilitate people if we can.”

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