LAS VEGAS (AP) — Four high school students in Las Vegas were indicted Friday as adults on second-degree murder charges in the deadly beating of their schoolmate in November, a fight that was captured on cellphone video and had been widely shared across social media.
Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani said in court that the indictment also charges the teenagers with conspiracy to commit battery, a gross misdemeanor.
The Associated Press is not naming the students because they were juveniles at the time of the Nov. 1 beating.
Nine students have so far been arrested in connection with the attack that left 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr. dead. Giordani said the other students are 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 just around the corner from Rancho High School. The police department said Friday that investigators are still searching for the 10th suspect.
In the aftermath, students, teachers and staff were left to grapple with how a conflict over a stolen vape pen and a pair of wireless headphones escalated.
Police said that Lewis walked to the alley with his friend after school but don’t believe he was the target.
Lt. Jason Johansson said the cellphone video showed Lewis taking off his shirt to prepare for the fight, then the 10 students “immediately swarm him, pull him to the ground and begin kicking, punching and stomping on him.”
After the fight, according to Johannson, a person in the area found Lewis badly beaten and unconscious and carried him back to campus, where school staff called 911 and tried to help him.
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.