Rape trial begins against Lawrence Central teen, who’s also accused in playground murder

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 21, 2015)-- At 17, Jabril Scruggs has enough trouble for someone twice his age.

Jurors heard opening statements Monday afternoon in the rape trial against Scruggs, who is accused of attacking a classmate at Lawrence Central High School in March of 2014.

Defense Attorney Vincent Scott told FOX59 News that while his client doesn’t deny having sex with the girl, the defense will argue it was consensual.

No matter the outcome of the rape trial, Scruggs faces other, more serious charges.

He is accused of killing James Johnson, 16, on the playground at Hawthorne Place Apartments on East 34th Street in July of 2013.

Another teen was accused of the murder even though Scruggs admitted being on the scene.

Following Scruggs’ arrest last year on the rape charge, witnesses came forward to finger him for the Johnson killing.

“Jabril Scruggs walked around behind James Johnson and shot him and killed him,” read the Probable Cause Affidavit filed almost a year ago. “(The witness) lied because he was told Jabril Scruggs’ people would kill him.”

The murder charge is pending in the Juvenile Division of Marion Superior Court as prosecutors await the outcome of the rape trial before moving forward.