LAS VEGAS, Nevada – In a tragic incident that shook the community, four high school students were indicted as adults on second-degree murder charges in the deadly beating of their schoolmate in November. The fight, which was captured on cellphone video and widely shared across social media, left 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr. dead.
Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani revealed that the indictment also charges the teenagers with conspiracy to commit battery, a gross misdemeanor. Nine students have been arrested in connection with the attack, with the other students awaiting separate hearings.
According to Las Vegas police, 10 students between the ages of 13 and 17 participated in the beating that unfolded after school in an alleyway near Rancho High School. Investigators are still searching for the 10th suspect. In the aftermath, students, teachers, and staff grappled with how a conflict over a stolen vape pen and a pair of wireless headphones escalated to such a tragic and violent end.
Police stated that Lewis was not believed to be the target and that the cellphone video showed him preparing for the fight before being swarmed by the 10 students, who proceeded to kick, punch, and stomp on him. After the fight, Lewis was found badly beaten and unconscious, and was carried back to the campus where school staff tried to help him before calling 911.
In Nevada, a teenager facing a murder charge can be charged as an adult if they were 13 or older at the time of the alleged crime. The incident sparked conversations about the safety and well-being of students at schools, as well as the role of social media in perpetuating and sharing violent acts. The community is left grappling with the tragedy and seeking ways to prevent similar incidents in the future.