9th suspect arrested on murder charge in high school student’s beating death
Nov 22, 2023, 11:34 AM
(CNN) — Police have arrested a ninth suspect in the beating death of a 17-year-old Las Vegas high school student, they said in a news release.
Jonathan Lewis died after being beaten when a fight broke out November 1 over stolen items near the Rancho High School campus, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have said.
The ninth suspect “was arrested and booked into the Clark County Juvenile Hall for open murder,” said the news release. The suspect was not identified.
“Detectives still need help identifying one outstanding person of interest in this homicide,” police said. “The individual was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants.”
Beating captured on video
The beating happened in an alley near the high school campus after school let out, Las Vegas Police Lt. Jason Johansson said in a news conference earlier this month.
“The video is very graphic and, in my opinion, is very void of humanity,” he said.
Eight juveniles – whose names have not been released – were taken into custody and “will be charged with the crime of murder,” Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said. The suspects range in age from 13 to 17 and are students at Rancho High School.
Some of them will be tried as adults, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Those cases were automatically transferred to adult criminal court because the defendants are 16 or 17, the newspaper reported.
The remaining defendants, between 13 and 15, will face certification hearings in family court, where a judge will determine if they also will be tried as adults, according to the Review-Journal.
Teen was ‘a hero’
Jonathan died six days after the beating, his father has said. An autopsy determined his cause of death was blunt force trauma, police said.
Jonathan “was a loving, kind, and protective young man who cared deeply about his friends and family,” Jonathan Lewis Sr. told CNN, adding in a statement: He “was a hero who was trying to help one of his smaller friends who was being bullied and had something stolen from him and he tried to intervene.”
Jonathan’s parents have started a foundation in honor of their son, according to the Team Jonathan website.
“Jonathan’s mom came up with the name Team Jonathan while we talked about starting a foundation for our son in the hospital,” a statement on the website reads.
“After holding my son’s hand in the hospital while on life support for two days and nights and watching his life leave his body and being shocked by the immensity and horror of my beloved boy just being beaten to death, I felt a mission to act that moved me to my core,” the statement said.
CNN’s Sarah Dewberry, Andy Rose and Kevin Flower contributed to this report.
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