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14-Year-Old-Boy Involved In Barnard Student's Murder Pleads Guilty

The 14-year-old boy, whose name is not being released, faces between six and 18 months in detention for his role in Tessa Majors' death.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Tessa Majors Stabbing Death Captured On Video, Say Police

One of the teens allegedly involved in the murder of Barnard student Tessa Majors has pleaded guilty for the role he played in her death.

The teen, an unnamed 14-year-old who was 13 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of first-degree robbery, CNN reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15, and faces between six to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility.

The teen, whose name has not been released because he was tried as a juvenile, is one of three teen boys who were charged for the December 2019 robbery and murder. Majors, a freshman at Barnard, was walking in Morningside Park in Manhattan when she was robbed and fatally stabbed by the three boys in a brutal incident that prosecutors say lasted around one minute.

In court on Wednesday, a statement from the unnamed teen describing the fateful act was shared with the court. In it, he stated that he and his friends, Rashaun Weaver and Luchiano “Lucci” Lewis, had the intention that day of robbing someone, and admitted that he was the one to supply Majors’ alleged killer with the knife he used to carry out the act.

“We went to the park planning to rob someone,” he said. "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.”

The boy said that, after that, he saw Weaver “take a plastic bag out of her pocket,” according to ABC News.

Authorities say that Majors fought back during the ordeal, biting the fingers of one of the teens who put her into a chokehold, but she was stabbed in her face and neck, NBC News previously reported. Although she managed to pull herself up the stairway, where a security guard for the university later found her and called 911, she succumbed to her wounds at a nearby hospital.

The other two boys, who were 14 at the time of the killing, have been charged as adults. Weaver is facing two counts each of of second-degree murder and second-degree robbery, in addition to three counts of first-degree robbery, while Lewis has been charged with second-degree murder, one count of second-degree robbery, and two counts of first-degree robbery, according to CNN. Both entered not guilty pleas in February.

The Legal Aid Society, who supplied an attorney for the unnamed boy who entered a plea on Wednesday, said in a statement obtained by ABC News that its client “will face … repercussions for a long time, likely the rest of his life,” but said that he can now begin to look toward the future.

“This plea clears a path for him and his family to move forward with their lives,” its statement continued. “His acceptance of responsibility is an important first step; it provides an opportunity for this now 14-year-old to achieve a successful future.”

James E. Johnson, New York City Law Department’s corporation council, acknowledged the pain that Majors’ murder caused but suggested that the teen’s guilty plea was a fair resolution due to a number of factors.

“The robbery and murder of Tessa Majors was a horrific crime. No family should have to endure such pain,” Johnson said. “We investigated the case involving (the teen) fairly based on the facts and with justice as our goal. This resolution is in the best interest of the community and for a youth who has had no prior contact with the juvenile justice system and was not the main actor in the murder.”

Majors’ family did not immediately return a request for comment from CNN.

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