Four of the eight teens arrested for the beating death of a 17-year-old high school student are expected to be tried as adults, prosecutors say.
Jonathan Lewis, Jr. was punched, kicked and stomped on when an after-school fight broke out in an alleyway near a Las Vegas high school campus over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and a marijuana vape pen, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Lt. Jason Johansson said the initial 911 calls on Nov. 1 came in after someone found Lewis bleeding and unconscious then brought him over to Rancho High School, where officials said staff members immediately rendered aid until first responders arrived on the scene.
The teen was transported to University Medical Center for treatment, where police say doctors quickly determined his injuries were not survivable. Police were notified a week later on Nov. 7 that the teen was taken off life support and his organs would be donated.
A spokesperson for the Clark County coroner's office confirmed Lewis died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries, and the teen's death was ruled a homicide.
Sources say eight teens between the ages of 13 and 17 appeared in their first court appearance before a judge Wednesday at the Clark County Courthouse, where prosecutors notified the judge that they plan to charge four of the eight as adults for Lewis Jr.'s murder.
The other four teens are under the age of 16. A juvenile court hearing in December will determine whether those four will be tried as adults, Scripps News Las Vegas reported.
On Wednesday, Las Vegas police released new images of two more teenagers who are wanted in connection with the homicide investigation.
Multiple videos of the altercation were shared widely on social media, which police used to identify the students who have since been arrested for open murder, Lt. Johansson said Tuesday in a press conference announcing the eight arrests.
"Many people have seen it," Lt. Johansson said of the videos. "It's very graphic and, in my opinion, devoid of humanity."
Rancho High School students were in shock when they spoke with Scripps News Las Vegas following the attack, saying they could not believe what happened to one of their classmates.
"It's just very unnecessary to take away his life, and for all of those people to jump in over something so simple, it's kind of sad," one student said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the two suspects who remain at large to call Metro's Homicide Section or CrimeStoppers.
Homicide detectives can be reached by calling 702-828-3521 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can be made through Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at Crimestoppersofnv.com.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com