LAS VEGAS — Eight teenagers were arrested on murder charges on Tuesday, November 15, following the death of a 17-year-old student who was beaten outside of Rancho High School on November 1.
According to the Washington Post, Las Vegas homicide Lt. Jason Johansson held a press conference to announce the arrest of the eight teens ages 13-17. The suspects’ names have not been publicly released.
Lt. Johansson said that the teens were part of a group of at least ten suspects who brutally beat Jonathan Lewis Jr. in a prearranged fight between Lewis’ friend and another party in an alley near the high school. The fight was allegedly over a pair of stolen headphones and possibly a marijuana vape pen that belonged to Lewis or his friend.
It is reported that Lewis spent a week in the hospital before he died of blunt-force trauma. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office classified his death as a homicide.
A video of the fight went viral on social media and showed Lewis punching another subject before a group attacked him.
Johansson said in the press conference that immediately after the initial punch was thrown, ten subjects swarmed Lewis, pulling him to the ground, kicking, punching, and stomping him. He described the scene as a “void of humanity.”
The Washington Post reports that FBI agents assisted in the arrest, with the suspects being booked on charges of suspicion of murder. Undersheriff Andrew Walsh says that authorities are working to identify at least two other individuals believed to be involved in the attack.
According to the report, police are pushing the district attorney’s office to charge the teens as adults. Two of the teens are 16 or older, and if charged with murder in Nevada, the case is moved to the adult system. Also, Nevada Judges have the authority to certify minors older than 14 as adults for felony offenses, including murder.
If charged and convicted of murder as adults in Nevada, the teens could each face a minimum of 25 years each.