Posted on: November 14, 2023, 09:41h.
Last updated on: November 14, 2023, 09:51h.
Eight teenagers face murder charges for the recent violent death of a student near Las Vegas’s Rancho High School, officials announced on Tuesday.
The Nov. 1 beating began over stolen wireless headphones and perhaps also a vape pen, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS.
A mob of teens stole the items from a younger kid and threw them into a trash can, USA Today reported.
The victim, Jonathan Lewis Jr., 17, chose to defend his smaller friend and soon was attacked.
The suspects are seen in a video repeatedly kicking, stomping on, and punching Lewis. He lost consciousness and suffered critical head injuries, according to the DailyMail.com.
He died last Tuesday after being treated in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center. He was on life support for days before his passing.
The Clark County coroner’s office revealed Lewis died from complications of multiple blunt force injuries. His death was ruled a homicide.
Youngest Suspect Is 13
The arrested boys range in age from 13 to 17. Authorities have to name the suspects.
Under Nevada law, teenagers charged with murder could face adult court proceedings. Both 16- and 17-year-olds charged with murder automatically stand trial in adult courts.
Even children between 14 and 15 can be tried as adults rather than juveniles, but a judge needs to order the transfer of the cases.
Two other suspects are believed to have taken part in the deadly beating, too. But they have yet to be arrested.
Each of the 10 suspects attended Rancho High School, authorities said. Some of the teens recorded the beating and shared it on social media.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday by either the FBI or the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
Victim Remembered as a Hero
The victim’s father, Jonathan Lewis Sr., told USA Today, “Jonathan just wanted to protect his friend. He’s a hero.”
“We all must be held accountable for our choices,” the father added in a statement to KLAS.
“We deserve to be able to live in peace and receive love in our community… Actually recognizing why, at this age, our children chose violence, the root cause, the terror of constant resource conflict and dependence on a broken system and actually building our own self-regulated wealth and health is a huge part of justice for me as a father too.”
The victim’s father organized a fundraising drive on GoFundMe. As of Tuesday night, it has raised $94,772. The initial goal was $25K.
The GoFundMe site described the younger Lewis as an “aspiring artist” and “devoted big brother.” He especially liked hip-hop music.
The case so far has not been identified as a hate crime.
Caution: The video below shows violence that may be upsetting to some viewers.