Former Lawrence Central student convicted of rape now headed to adult court for murder charge

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A former Lawrence Central student recently convicted of rape will soon be headed back to court on a murder charge and he will be tried as an adult.

Jabril Scruggs told a juvenile court judge this morning he does not object to his murder case being heard in superior court.

Prosecutors say the suspect was initially charged for the murder in adult court, but the case was later re-filed in juvenile court.  Now it's being waived back into the adult system.

Wednesday’s hearing came just three weeks after a jury found him guilty of rape and criminal confinement.

In late June, jurors convicted Scruggs of raping a classmate in a Lawrence Central High School locker room during the school day.  The sexual assault took place in 2014.

After his conviction, prosecutors called the verdict justice for the teenage victim.

“It shows people we will fight for them until the end.  The young woman involved in this case did go through a lot and it is hard, but hopefully it encourages people,” said special victim’s unit deputy prosecutor Katie Melnick.

Still, prosecutors know the legal fight against Scruggs will continue with a second trial, this time for murder.

In July 2013, a 16-year-old was killed at the Hawthorne Place apartments. James Johnson died after being shot on the playground.

According to court records, a witness told police, "Jabril Scruggs walked around behind James Johnson and shot him and killed him.”

The witness said he lied initially because he was told Scruggs' people would kill him. Scruggs was only 15 years old at the time of the murder.

During a waiver hearing in juvenile court, the judge read an agreement that said Scruggs admits there is probable cause to believe he committed the crime, though the teenager admitted no guilt in the killing.

As for his rape case, Scruggs is set to be sentenced next month.  He faces anywhere from six to 20 years for that crime.

He also would face a life sentence if he's convicted of murder.