OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:52 PM – Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Prosecutors have charged four teenage high school students as adults in connection to the fatal beating of one of their classmates.
Two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds will be charged as adults in the deadly beating of 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson said that his office decided against filing a first-degree murder charge against the boys, since the beating was not a premeditated act based on the available evidence.
At least ten students between the ages of 13 and 17-years-old are said to have been involved in the fight that ended in Lewis’s death on November 1st, and eight of them have been arrested thus far.
Due to the rest of the students involved being younger than 16-years-old, they are awaiting a separate hearing.
Authorities claim that after school, students at Rancho High School in east Las Vegas had planned to get together off campus in order to fight over items that the victim’s friend claimed were stolen, including a vape pen and a pair of wireless headphones.
The victim is seen in the captured video taking off his shirt and getting ready for the fight, according to Police Lt. Jason Johansson. Soon after, 15 students “immediately swarm him, pull him to the ground and begin kicking, punching, and stomping on him.” However, other reports say that it was 10 students who were involved in the incident.
According to the coroner’s office, Lewis was hospitalized with severe head trauma, among other injuries. He passed away a week later.
Robert Draskovich, who has been appointed to represent one of the accused 17-year-old students, said on Tuesday that videos taken of the fight that were shared on social media are “incomplete.”
“I’ll be going through all the videos with my investigator to see what really happened,” he maintained.
If a teenager in Nevada is charged with murder and is 13-years-old or older at the time of the alleged crime, they could easily face adult charges.
However, before determining whether to transfer the teen to the adult court system, a family court judge will reportedly consider the available evidence and the teen’s past history at a hearing referred to as a certification hearing.
In Nevada, adult charges can be brought against minors 16 years of age or older who are suspected of murder without a certification hearing. For this reason, the cases of the four older students were transferred by a judge last week.
According to police records, one of the assailants had turned 16-years-old on the day of the fight.
Wolfson also told reporters that a ninth arrest was made on Tuesday, but no further details have been released.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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