NEW YORK (WABC) -- Luchiano Lewis, one of three teens charged in the 2019 stabbings death of Barnard freshman Tessa Majors in Morningside Park, pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbery and murder.
Lewis appeared in court in a dark suit and an ill-fitting tie and raced through an allocution in which he said he saw feathers emerge from Majors' winter coat but did not realize she had been stabbed, let alone killed, until the next morning when he recognized her as the young woman he and the others tried to rob.
Majors' family sat in the front row and listened to Lewis explain how the trio of middle school friends plotted to rob people in the park.
"We are aware of today's proceeding involving the second guilty plea," Majors' family said in a statement. "We remain resolute in our belief that all parties who bear responsibility for Tess's senseless death will be held accountable, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who continue to pursue that goal. In particular, we would like to thank the members of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York City Police Department for their tireless and thorough efforts. We have maintained confidence in their work from the beginning and appreciate their diligence and the compassion they have shown us."
Lewis pinned the idea on 16-year-old Rashaun Weaver, who has pleaded not guilty. A 13-year-old juvenile pleaded guilty and is currently serving his sentence.
"He wanted the three of us to do robberies in Morningside Park," Lewis said. "I assumed Rashaun had a knife on him, but using a knife was not part of our plan."
Lewis will be sentenced October 14.
"Are you pleading guilty because you are in fact guilty?" Judge Robert Mandelbaum asked.
"Yes," Lewis replied.
Police and prosecutors have said Weaver wielded the knife, and Lewis guessed he "threw it in the sewer" after the murder.
Weaver is represented by noted criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who said outside court, This was not a premeditated murder as we heard inside. These were 14- and a 13-year-old boys, and we should remember that."