Two teenagers pleaded not guilty on Wednesday for the murder of 18-year-old Tessa Majors who died in a fatal stabbing in a park in New York.
Luchiano Lewis, 14, who surrendered to the police on Wednesday morning, is accused of having stopped Majors from fleeing for help, while Rashaun Weaver, also 14, is accused of stabbing her to death on December 11 in 2019.
A 13-year-old boy has been accused of second-degree murder in a family court for killing during an alleged robbery in Upper Manhattan, but his name has not been released because he is being tried as a juvenile. Weaver and Lewis are accused as adults.
Luchiano Lewis, 14, brought to justice after surrendering to the police on Wednesday for the murder of Tessa Majors
Majors, a first-year student at Barnard College, was stabbed to death on December 11 at Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan near her school campus
Lewis was indicted and arrested on Wednesday with second-degree murder and theft, next to the court next to Weaver in a Manhattan prosecution.
Majors, an aspiring journalist, was attacked as she walked through Morningside Park at the Barnard campus in the early evening.
Lewis turned in to the police on Wednesday morning after being interviewed earlier and released in December.
The high school student prevented the first-year student from escaping by placing her in “some sort of blockade or bearhug,” said Matthew Bogdanos, a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Law office.
The nameless 13-year-old boy was the first suspect detained by the police the day after the murder.
Rashaun Weaver, the 14-year-old boy who was arrested on February 14, was charged with two counts of murder
Katima Minton (center) Weaver’s mother leaves the court in New York after his appearance at the court
Police say he was quickly involved in statements to detectives and identified the Lewis and Weaver, who were arrested on February 14.
Investigators said they did not expect to accuse further suspects of the murder.
In a December hearing, researchers said that Majors, who played in a rock band, bit one of the suspect’s fingers as she fought for her life.
She was stabbed in her face and body in her struggle, but managed to stumble up a flight of stairs before collapsing. Majors was declared dead in the hospital.
The parents of Lewis, the mother of Weaver and the father of Majors took part in the trial court.
Attorney Vance said: “Although a criminal trial will never completely cure the unimaginable pain of Tessa Majors’ family and friends, this indictment is an important step towards justice.
Inman Majors (center), the father of Majors, was present on Wednesday at the charge of her two accused murderers
Prosecutors said high school fought for her life, but she stopped fleeing when she got her in “some sort of headlock or bearhug”
The murder of student Tessa Majors last December sent shock waves through Manhattan, many of whom said the violent incident reminded of the 70s and 80s crime in New York
‘We are committed to keeping these young people accountable, and equally committed to a fair trial that guarantees their rights. This is how we achieve true justice for Tessa and her loved ones. ”
He said the investigators had gathered substantial evidence to show that Weaver had stabbed Majors.
He stated that there was “video evidence, blood evidence, smartphone evidence, iCloud evidence, witness identification and statements from the suspect that were strictly collected and investigated.”
December 11: Tessa is being attacked in Morningside Park. The police originally said the call came in at 5.36 p.m. They later said it was closer to 6.50 p.m.
She is declared dead in the hospital
12 December: The police interrogate two underage boys and look for a third. Those two boys are later cleaned up and released.
The 13 year old boy is arrested for murder.
Bill de Blasio promises fast justice.
December 13th: A 14 year old is being detained.
The 13 year old boy is accused of murder.
December 14: The charges against the 14-year-old are withdrawn and he is released.
December 15: Ed Mullins, president of the benevolent association of the sergeant, says that Tessa was in the park to buy marijuana. He is slammed shut by Bill de Blasio.
At 4 p.m. a 14-year-old boy shoots out of a car while being driven – by a “lawyer or family member” to talk to the police
December 16: Tessa’s family slaps the comments from Mullins
December 17: Probably cause hearing of 13 year old
The 14 year old stays on the run. The third suspected suspect remains free.
December 26: The missing 14-year-old is detained but released after a few hours
February 14th: Rashaun Weaver, 14, is arrested and charged with murder. He is identified as the teenager who was released on December 26
February 19: Luchiano Lewis, 14, surrenders to the police. He is identified as the boy detained but released on December 14
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said: “Detectives, investigators and prosecutors, as well as a large jury, have deliberately worked to ensure that the evidence gathered supported the indicted charges and that those allegedly murdered Tessa Majors are now being held accountable .
“Nothing can bring her back. That is the tragedy that we all have to live with. ”
Weaver and Lewis were ordered to be held without bail in a juvenile detention center. They are kept separate in prison.
Weaver has also been accused of robbing another person.
According to the DailyMail.com complaint, Weaver is accused of committing the individual robberies at Morningside Park four days prior to Majors’ murder.
According to that robbing victim, Weaver and two other boys confronted him on the night of December 7 and stole his iPhone. Only a few hours later, the iPhone was connected to an iCloud account in the name of Weaver.
The raid victim later identified Weaver from a photo frame. In addition, the 14-year-old was seen on a security camera that wore the exact same outfit during both his alleged December 7 robbery and his alleged December 11 stitches from Majors.
The complaint states that the three suspects initially followed a man through the park on December 11, before turning their attention to Majors.
At 6.47 pm a witness heard a male voice from the area [believed to be Weaver] say [to Majors]: “Run your s ** t. Give me your phone. You have some weed, give me that too. “
The witness then heard a woman shout: “Help me! I’m being robbed! ”
Surveillance images show how majors later climb the stairs of Morningside Park to reach a security gate. She was conscious and bleeding before being rushed to a nearby hospital.
She was declared dead at 7:33 PM – meaning that there was more than half an hour between the time of the attack and her death.
The murder sent shock waves through Manhattan, many of whom said the violent incident reminded of the 70s and 80s crime in New York.
Police union leaders blamed Bill de Blasio and said he made it difficult for regular police to fight street crime.
The NYPD also faced accusations of “victim accusation,” after police chief claimed that Majors might have been in the park to buy marijuana.