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Fiona Simmons December 18, 2023 2 min read
Vegas Teens Allegedly Murder Student, Say They Acted in Self-Defense
The prosecution conceded that the victim initiated the fight but said that this does not excuse the brutal beating he received
Last month, a group of Las Vegas teenagers fatally wounded a high school student during a confrontation over stolen headphones and a vape pen. Four of the nine teenagers who were arrested in connection to the beating have now claimed that it was in self-defense.
According to attorneys, the victim, Jonathan Lewis, was the one who initiated the fight, throwing the first punch. The clash erupted in an alley near the Rancho High School campus because of a conflict over stolen items that were allegedly thrown in a trash can by the eventual killers. Attorneys say that Lewis sought to protect the items’ owner who was allegedly being bullied by the gang.
Defense attorneys also pointed out that Lewis’ friend was allegedly brandishing a knife, further provoking the to-be murderers. As a result, the gang brutally assaulted Lewis, continuing to beat him while he lay defenseless on the ground. According to Las Vegas authorities, the killers repeatedly stomped on the victim’s head, causing him a fatal blunt force trauma.
School staff, including the school nurse, rushed in to help Lewis and performed CPR. However, he still passed away a week after the fight because of his injuries. A caller contacted 911, describing the scene in gruesome detail.
A total of nine suspects were arrested. A tenth suspect also risks arrest.
The Teenagers Will Be Trialed as Adults for Second-Degree Murder
Four of the teenagers, namely Damien Hernandez, Dontral Beaver, Gianni Robinson and Treavion Randolph, are currently held in juvenile detention. Despite that, they are set to be tried in adult courts for second-degree murder.
There were five more teenagers who participated in the fatal beating who may be charged as adults too.
This is, unfortunately, not the only recent fatal incident in Las Vegas. A few days ago, professional basketball athlete Chance Comanche and his girlfriend, Sakari Harnden, were arrested over the alleged murder of Marayna Rodgers. Witnesses say they last saw Rodgers on December 6, entering the same car with Harden.
The remains of the victim were eventually found in the desert near Henderson, Nevada. Harnden was charged with kidnapping, theft and murder while Comanche is yet to be charged with murder. Authorities, however, seek to amend the charges to open murder through coordination.