Teen sentenced to 18 months in death of Tessa Majors

By Jean Lotus

June 15 (UPI) --

A teen who pleaded guilty to robbery in connection with the 2019 killing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors will serve 18 months in custody of New York's Administration for Children's Services, the New York Law Department said.


The teen, who is now 14, will spend at least six months in a secure facility, the department said, after which time he'll be evaluated to see where the rest of his sentence will be carried out.

The boy was 13 at the time of the Dec., 11 2019, botched robbery in Manhattan's Morningside Park. His lawyers filed a guilty plea on June 3 admitting he handed his friend a knife that was used in the fatal stabbing of Majors.

The teen was charged as a juvenile. Two other teens -- Rashaun Weaver, 15, and Luciano Luis, 15 -- were both charged as adults for second-degree murder and robbery.

A statement released by the teen's lawyers at Legal Aid Society admitted he handed the knife to his accomplice.

"[W]e 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," he said.


Both older boys pleaded not-guilty in February and their trials have not yet been held.

Majors, 18, who was a freshman at Barnard, was stabbed multiple times as she walked in the park. She was found by a school security officer after she stumbled up a stairway and collapsed. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital. An autopsy showed stab wounds in Majors' torso, including one that pierced her heart.

A statement from the boy's lawyers said the plea to first-degree robbery was consistent with his "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," the statement said. "His acceptance of responsibility is an important first step; it provides an opportunity for this now 14-year-old to achieve a successful future."

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