Today’s news:

Jackson Heights beating victim dies after nine days in hospital

The victim's death opens the way for possible murder charges against the five teenagers arrested in the case.

Fernando Rodriguez of Astoria had been in a coma at the hospital since he was attacked May 22 by a group of up to 15 bat-wielding teenagers as he stood at 70th Street and Northern Boulevard. The hospital spokeswoman said he died at Elmhurst.

A spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said law enforcement agents were continuing to investigate to determine if the charges would be upgraded to murder.

Police arrested Steven Montano, 16, last week and he was arraigned May 26 in Queens County Criminal Court, where he was ordered held without bail, a DA spokesman said.

Montano, 17-year-old Ruben Hoffman, 16-year-old Francis Calle and two 15-year-olds currently face charges of attempted murder, gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the spokesman said.

Montano, Hoffman and Calle are being charged as adults and face up to 25 years in jail for their alleged involvement in the gang-style beating, the spokesman said.

A group of up to 15 teenagers with possible links to the Latin Kings street gang beat Rodriguez with baseball bats, metal pipes and sticks, police and law enforcement sources said.

The motive for the attack remained unclear, but police have indicated that it may have been a case of mistaken identity, the Post reported.

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