Teen pleads guilty to second-degree murder in Tessa Majors’ death

One of the teenagers accused of killing Barnard College student Tessa Majors in 2019 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, CBS New York reports. Luchiano Lewis, now 16, faced a judge Tuesday and was charged as an adult.

Majors, 18, was killed in New York City’s Morningside Park on December 11 after she was stabbed to death during an attempted robbery. Prosecutors accused three teens of participating in the robbery that led to her death.

In a statement he read in court Tuesday, Lewis said that using a knife during the mugging was “not part of our plan,” CBS New York reported. He said he saw classmate Rashaun Weaver kick her in the back and yell, “Give me your money!” before both fell to the ground, where they fought before he saw a witness and told the boys to leave.  

He also said he didn’t know she had been stabbed by Weaver until he saw feathers come out of her jacket, and didn’t know she had died until he saw news reports the following day, according to CBS New York.

Weaver has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney spoke after Lewis’ hearing to remind onlookers of the boys’ young age at the time of Majors’ death.

“This was not a premeditated murder, as we heard inside,” the attorney said, according to CBS New York. “This is a 14- and a 13-year-old boy and we should all remember that.”

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Slain Barnard College student Tessa Majors is seen in an undated photo.  CBS News

A third teen involved in the shooting was sentenced last year after pleading guilty to robbery in the first degree.

In a statement to CBS New York after the hearing, Majors’ family said it had been made aware of the second guilty plea. “We remain resolute in our belief that all parties who bear responsibility for Tess’s senseless death will be held accountable, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who continue to pursue that goal,” the family said.