14-year-old juvenile pleads guilty in murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Teen pleads guilty in Barnard freshman Tessa Majors' murder
A 14-year-old has pleaded guilty in the murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A 14-year-old charged as a juvenile in the stabbing death of Barnard College student Tessa Majors plead guilty to first-degree robbery in family court Wednesday.

The boy admitted to handing a knife to his friend, leading to the fatal stabbing of the 18-year-old freshman.

Majors was stabbed several times before she staggered up a flight of stairs and pleaded, "Help me, I'm being robbed."

The boy was charged as a juvenile, as he was 13 at the time of the murder last December. The other two boys involved, both 15 now but 14 at the time, were charged as adults.

He made the following statement to the judge via a remote appearance:

"I went into Morningside Park in Manhattan with Rashaun and Lucci. We went to the park planning to rob someone. In the park, one of my friends dropped a knife. I picked up the knife and handed it to Rashaun. After that, we saw Tessa Majors walking on the stairs inside the park. Rashaun went up to her and said something to her and Tessa yelled for help. Rashaun used the knife that I had handed to him to stab Tessa and I saw feathers coming out of her coat. Then I saw Rashaun take a plastic bag out of her pocket. Tessa went up the stairs towards Morningside Drive and Rashaun, Lucci and I followed her up to the platform. After that, Rashaun, Lucci and I ran out of the park together."

Rashaun Weaver is accused of fatally stabbing Majors, while Luchiano Lewis allegedly held her in a headlock.

Their trials on murder and robbery charges are pending.

The city's Law Department asked the family court judge for a minimum six months sentence with a maximum of 18 months in a limited security facility.

He will get credit for the time served since his December arrest.

The juvenile was represented by the Legal Aid Society, which released the following statement after the guilty plea.

"Tessa Majors's death was tragic. It caused incalculable pain to her loved ones and affected our entire city. This plea to Robbery in the First Degree is consistent with our client's limited role in this tragic event. He did not touch Ms. Majors or take any of her property. Furthermore, no DNA evidence exists linking him to the events. He will face its repercussions for a long time, likely the rest of his life. This plea clears a path for him and his family to move forward with their lives. His acceptance of responsibility is an important first step; it provides an opportunity for this now 14-year-old to achieve a successful future."

He will be placed in a limited secure facility for 18 months with a 6-month minimum. The judge is expected to formally sentence the teen on June 15.


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