Third Suspect in the Death of Tessa Majors Arrested

Tessa Majors in a photo she posted to Instagram.

Tessa Majors in a photo she posted to Instagram.

A third teenage boy who was allegedly involved in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Barnard student Tessa Majors surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon.

Luchiano Lewis, a 14-year-old boy, came to Criminal Court in Manhattan later that day, wearing grey jeans, a pink plaid shirt, camouflage jacket. He appeared before the judge in handcuffs and was charged with second-degree murder and robbery.

Rashaun Weaver, another 14-year-old boy, was arrested last Friday.  Weaver came to court on Wednesday afternoon, dressed in khaki pants. Both boys were charged as adults. They stood next to each other during arraignment – their families and Major’s father watching silently from the audience – as they pled not guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos described what officials believed happened on December 11 that culminated in Majors’ death.

He said that the three boys – a 13-year-old had been arrested and charged in December – walked by a man and woman in Morningside Park before deciding to target Majors. The attack lasted roughly a minute, Bogdanos said, from the moment they walked by her to the time they robbed and stabbed her.

“This isn’t a spur of the moment, a few second attack. It was a sustained attack, sustained in both space and time,” Bogdanos said.

Majors, he said, had been stabbed four times including once in the heart. Weaver allegedly dealt the fatal blow after Majors refused to give over her cellphone—he too faces second degree murder and robbery. Lewis is accused of restraining her in what Bogdanos described as a “bear hug or headlock” during the attack.

Police had questioned Weaver in late December, but he was ultimately released. He was later charged after DNA from under Majors’ nails connected him to the crime.

Alexis Padilla, Lewis’ lawyer, said in court that the district attorney’s case against his client was weak. He asked why wasn’t Lewis arrested sooner if video evidence collected was so clear. Padilla also argued that the video was speculative and wouldn’t be able to reveal the boys’ motivations accurately.

“How is walking behind someone considered following?” Padilla questioned.

But Bogdanos said that the delay was the result of a “careful, methodical, comprehensive” investigation. The assistant district attorney said that the grand jury heard from almost 50 witnesses and considered hundreds of pages of evidence before indicting the boys.

Both boys were ultimately reprimanded without bail to a juvenile facility. Their next court date is scheduled for April 7.

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