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Juvenile court hearings delayed for teens in Rancho High beating death

Updated December 7, 2023 - 7:16 pm

Court hearings were delayed Wednesday for four young teenagers arrested in connection with the fatal group beating of a Rancho High School student.

Four of the nine teenagers arrested in connection with the death of 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis were set to appear for a certification hearing in Family Court on Wednesday, when attorneys would argue whether they should face charges as adults.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Clark told the judge that prosecutors needed more time to prepare while attorneys review the evidence in the case.

Family Court Judge Amy Mastin ordered to teens back in court on Jan. 3.

The judge said attorneys would first argue whether there is merit for prosecutors to charge the teenagers in connection with Lewis’ death, before presenting arguments addressing their possible certification as adults.

Police have said there were 10 teenagers involved in the fatal attack on Nov. 1. Of the eight teenagers initially arrested, four were 16 or older, meaning they are automatically facing charges as adults.

A ninth teenager was arrested after the attack and is currently in the juvenile court system, police announced Nov. 21. Further information about that suspect’s case was not immediately available.

Police have also released photos of a 10th teenager identified as a person of interest in the case.

The fatal beating near Rancho High School’s campus was captured on a video that showed a group of teenagers continuing to punch, kick and stomp Lewis until he fell unconscious, police said. Lewis died of his injuries six days later.

Police have said that a group of teenagers set up the fight after a pair of wireless headphones, and possibly a marijuana vape pen, were taken from either Lewis or his friends earlier in the week.

Lewis’ mother and aunt attended Wednesday’s court hearings through a video call. Multiple family members of the suspects also attended court, and declined to speak to a Review-Journal reporter following the hearing. A woman identified as the mother of one of the defendants shielded her face from photographers throughout the hearing, before rushing out of the courtroom.

The teenagers facing charges as adults — Dontral Beaver, 16, Damien Hernandez, 17, Gianni Robinson, 17, and Treavion Randolph, 16 —have been charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. They are being held in the Juvenile Detention Center instead of the county jail while they face charges in Las Vegas Justice Court.

On Wednesday, Mastin ordered the four younger teenagers to continue to be held in the Juvenile Detention Center.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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