Tessa Majors murder: Third teenage suspect charged in New York City

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Tessa Majors murder: Third teenage suspect charged
Naveen Dhaliwal has more on the third teen arrested in the murder of Tessa Majors.

NEW YORK -- A third teenager has now been charged in connection with the brutal murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors in Morningside Park last month.

Authorities say 14-year-old Luchiano Lewis surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney's office at 9:25 a.m. Wednesday.

He is being charged as an adult with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree robbery.

Lewis' arrest comes on same day that 14-year-old Rashaun Weaver was arraigned in the case. Weaver is also charged with second-degree murder and robbery and is being charged as an adult.

Both teens pleaded not guilty and were remanded.

"While a criminal process will never fully heal the unimaginable pain suffered by Tessa Majors' family and friends, this indictment is a significant step forward on the path to justice," District Attorney Cy Vance said. "We are committed to holding these young people accountable, and equally committed to a fair process which safeguards their rights. This is how we will achieve true justice for Tessa and her loved ones."

Police released pictures of Weaver in December when he was identified as a suspect.

Prosecutors say they have built a strong case based on video evidence, DNA and Weaver's own statements.

RELATED: 14-year-old alleged stabber indicted in Barnard College student murder

Investigators say Weaver admitted to being in the park and hitting Majors with a knife after she wouldn't hand over her phone.

Forensic evidence reportedly showed his DNA on her fingernail clippings, and police say video surveillance showed Weaver wearing the same jacket while committing another knifepoint robbery days before.

A 13-year-old being charged as a juvenile remains in custody, awaiting a family court trial in March. Police say that person went into hiding prior to being arrested.

Majors was stabbed multiple times before limping up a flight of stairs. Her final words were, "Help me, I'm being robbed."

While Weaver and Lewis are being charged as adults, police say they are taking extra precautions because they are only 14.

"Sadly, it cannot bring back this young woman," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said. "What we can do is say that we are confident we have the person in custody who stabbed her, and that person will face justice in a court of law."