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Teen Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Barnard Student Tessa Majors

New York, NY – One of the boys who killed Barnard freshman Tessa Majors in Morningside Park in 2019 when he was just 14 years old has pleaded guilty to murder and robbery.

Luciano Lewis, now 16, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court on Sept. 21 to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, the New York Post reported.

Sources told the New York Post that his plea was not part of any deal with prosecutors, nor had he been guaranteed a maximum sentence.

Lewis was charged as an adult alongside two of his teenage friends who were also part of the attack on the college girl, the New York Post reported.

Police believe that the 18-year-old Majors was walking through Morningside Park, near the Barnard campus, shortly before 7 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2019 when she was attacked by three teenagers who were trying to rob her, CNN reported.

Lewis told the court that robbing people in Morningside Park was the idea of his co-defendant, now-16-year-old Rashaun Weaver.

But he also said that “using a knife was not part of our plan,” according to the New York Post.

Lewis said that Majors was staring at her phone when they passed her in the park.

“Rashaun turned around, ran up behind Tessa Majors and kicked her hard in the back,” Lewis read from a prepared statement in court. “I watched her stumble. Rashaun started screaming, ‘Give me your money, run your pockets, I’m not playing!’”

Lewis told the court that Majors asked the boys “‘Are you seriously trying to rob me?’” and said that at one point during their attack on her, she called him a “coward,” the New York Post reported.

Court documents showed that Lewis allegedly put Majors in a headlock after she yelled for help and then Weaver repeatedly stabbed her.

Charging documents showed that Weaver allegedly told Lewis “That b—h bit me!” the New York Post reported.

Lewis has claimed he didn’t know Weaver stabbed Majors even though he was holding her down when it happened.

He told the court he didn’t realize she was dead until he saw her picture in a news article the next morning, the New York Post reported.

Prosecutors said Lewis has become a cooperating witness in the state’s case against Weaver. Police said Majors staggered up a staircase onto the street after she was stabbed and collapsed where a school security guard found her and called 911, CBS News reported.

Majors was transported to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital where she died from her wounds.

Police initially arrested a 13-year-old Zyairr Davis in connection with the murder a day later after he was spotted trespassing in the lobby of a building nearby the crime scene while wearing clothing that matched the description of the suspect, according to CNN.

Davis pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of first-degree robbery in connection with the attack on Majors and was sentenced to 18 months of detention, the New York Post reported.

Weaver is being represented for free by Jeffrey Lichtman, the same defense attorney who represented Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Lichtman has said he is defending Weaver pro bono because the boy didn’t deserve to serve life in prison because of his age, the New York Post reported.

“This was not a premeditated murder as we heard inside,” the attorney said after Lewis pleaded guilty. “These were 14-and 13-year-old boys. Let’s make sure to remember that.”

But court papers showed that Weaver and three accomplices also brutally beat a man on Feb. 14, 2020 – two months after he murdered Majors but before he was arrested for the crime, the New York Post reported.

Charging documents showed that Weaver and his friend stole the man’s cellphone, shoes, and $130 in addition to violently attacking him.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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