Southern California

Moreno Valley Students Who Allegedly Beat Classmate to Death Face Upgraded Charges of Voluntary Manslaughter

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Charges were upgraded Monday against two students who were arrested following a middle school fight that caused the death of a 13-year-old boy.

The two students were arrested on Sept. 16 following a fight at a Southern California middle school that left a 13-year-old boy left in critical condition. He later died from his injuries on Sept. 25, authorities said.

The two students were initially arrested on suspicion of assault likely to produce great bodily injury. However, on Sept. 30, the Riverside County District Attorney's office amended the charges to one count of voluntary manslaughter against each of them. 

They remained in custody at Riverside County Juvenile Hall. 

One of the students was expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning, and the other on October 15.  

"He died because of a fight that no one was preventing and everyone was just taking videos of it," said student Divine Eubaney.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department said the 13-year-old, who had suffered severe injuries in the Sept. 13 fight was pronounced clinically dead 12 days later

Despite hospital staff working to save the boy, identified by authorities as just Diego, he did not survive, and his family was set to donate his organs in an attempt to transform tragedy into a gift for another child, a Facebook post read

The fight took place on campus at Landmark Middle School in the 15200 block of Legendary Drive around 1 p.m., Riverside County sheriff's said. 

Authorities did not reveal additional details about how the fight occurred, or what led to it, but the fight was captured on cellphone video. 

"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we inform you that Diego, the student involved in the incident at Landmark Middle School on Monday, September 16th, has passed away. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and school community as they cope with this devastating loss," Moreno Valley Unified School District officials said in a statement.

The district also said it will provide additional counselors and support personnel for students, employees, or family to help cope.

"My prayers and my love goes out to his family, because I can't imagine having to bury one of my children," said parent Jasmine Minori.

Patty Rodriguez, a personality on LA radio station KIIS FM with Ryan Seacrest, tweeted that she didn't believe it was a fight, but rather an attack on the boy, who she said is her nephew.

"I am at the hospital with my family. My nephew is a baby. He is fighting for his life. He doesn’t deserve this," she had said Sept. 17. 

Anyone with information on the case was encouraged to contact Investigator Joshua Manjarrez at 951-955-2777 or Investigator John Tometich at 951-486-6700.

A candlelight vigil was held on Sept. 25 to honor Diego in front of Landmark Middle School.

Tony Shin contributed to this report. 

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