Four of the eight high school students accused of savagely beating their Las Vegas schoolmate to death have been charged with murder and will be tried as adults.
As Blaze News previously reported, 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr. was brutally beaten to death on Nov. 7 by fellow classmates in an alley near Rancho High School in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrested eight suspects – all teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.
Four of the teen suspects – ages 16 and 17 – appeared in court for the first time on Friday.
The Associated Press reported, “The students each face one count of murder but have not been formally charged, court records show.”
According to the New York Post, “Dontral Beaver, 16; Gianni Robinson, 17; and Damien Hernandez, 17, and Treavion Randolph, 16, face murder charges in connection to Lewis’ death on Nov. 7.”
The teenage suspects were being held without bail pending a formal hearing to address their custody status. The suspects are scheduled to return to court next week.
WXIN noted that one of the suspects turned 16 on the day of the deadly assault that took the life of Lewis Jr.
The other four suspects are awaiting a separate hearing because they are all under the age of 16.
“Because the other four teenagers are under the age of 16, they will need to go through a certification hearing in Family Court for a judge to determine if they will be tried as adults,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
On Friday, a prosecutor said in court that there are still two remaining suspects still at-large.
In Nevada, teens accused of murder who are age 16 or older are automatically transferred to the adult court system.
According to Nevada law, suspects as young as 13 years old can be charged with murder or attempted murder.
Cell phone video of the disturbing pile-on brawl went viral. The footage shows Lewis being mauled by a group of teenagers.
Police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson said investigators suspect that the fight stemmed from a pair of wireless headphones and a vape pen being stolen from a friend of Lewis. Johansson said Lewis was not originally involved in the melee, but walked into the alleyway with his friend after school.
“As you know, the video that has been shared widely on social media … is very graphic and in my opinion is very void of humanity,” said Johansson. “What you see in the video though is approximately 10 subjects kicking, stomping, and punching our victim Jonathan as he’s on the ground, not defending himself, until the point at where he becomes unconscious.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said race did not play a factor in the death of Lewis, and none of the suspects have been charged with any hate crimes.
(WARNING: Graphic video)
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