14-Year-Old Boy Indicted In Murder Of Tessa Majors

WCBS 880 Newsroom
February 15, 2020 - 12:19 pm
Tessa Majors

Conrad MacKethan/Instagram - @tessmajors

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A 14-year-old boy has been indicted for the murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors.

Law enforcement officials announced the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in the case at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. They said the boy was arrested Friday night and indicted Saturday.

"What we can say is that we have the person in custody who stabbed her, and that person will face justice in a court of law," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

The 14-year-old was arrested at the Taft Houses in Brooklyn, where he lives, around 10:30 p.m.

The teen is being charged as an adult with one count of intentional murder and one count of felony murder, Vance said. He also faces two counts of robbery.

An arraignment is set for Wednesday, officials said.

"This arrest is a major milestone on the path to justice for Tessa Majors," Vance said.

Two months ago a 13-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the case. He faces felony murder, robbery and weapons charges.

A 14-year-old boy was questioned by police a short time after the 13-year-old was arrested, but he was ultimately released by police, reportedly over a lack of evidence. Now, authorities said they have plenty of evidence.

"Ranging from scientific to digital to video to his own statements," Vance said.

The criminal complaint says the defendant's DNA was also found under Majors' fingernails.

Weaver told police he "hit" Majors with a knife because she wouldn't give up her phone, according to the complaint.

Police said a grand jury is expected to see evidence against the two teens who are in custody. Among the items is said to be the knife used in the killing.

Majors, 18, was stabbed while walking in Morningside Park on the evening of Dec. 11. The city’s medical examiner said Monday she died from wounds to the torso.

The 13-year-old who was arrested told police that he and two other youths went to the park looking for someone to rob, first setting their sights on a man before turning their attention to Majors.

In December, Detective Wilfredo Acevedo testified that the 13-year-old boy said he then picked up a red-handled knife that another one of the youths had dropped and that he handed it to one of them.

They then approached Majors and announced they were robbing her, but she refused to hand over any property, the boy said, according to Acevedo.  The boy said he witnessed what happened next from perhaps 10 feet away, Acevedo testified: One of the youths grabbing Majors from behind as the other stabbed her, causing feathers to billow from her jacket. 

A police officer responding to a radio call for a robbery in progress said she found Majors lying face down in the street.

Then Majors stopped breathing, Lewis said. The officer said she started CPR and kept at it until they got to a hospital, where Majors was pronounced dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.