Two of three teenagers charged in connection to the 2019 killing of a college freshman during a robbery gone wrong in a New York City park have now pleaded guilty to the accusations against them.
On Sept. 21, Luchiano Lewis, 16, entered a guilty plea to charges of first- and second-degree robbery and second-degree murder for the stabbing death of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors, Fox News reported.
On Dec. 11 almost two years ago, Majors was in Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan when Lewis, Rashaun Weaver, 16, and a 13-year-old boy allegedly tried to mug her. During the attack, investigators said, Weaver allegedly stabbed Majors multiple times and Lewis disposed of the murder weapon in a sewer.
Majors managed to stagger up a flight of stairs in the park to get to street level, but she collapsed and died from her injuries.
“He wanted the three of us to do robberies in Morningside Park,” Lewis claimed in court, WABC-TV reported. “I assumed Rashaun had a knife on him, but using a knife was not part of our plan.”
Lewis said he wasn’t aware Majors was stabbed or killed until the following day. Charged as an adult, he now faces up to life behind bars when he is sentenced in October.
Weaver, the second 16-year-old suspect in the case, is also charged as an adult and he has pleaded not guilty. Last year, the third suspect, who was 13 at the time of the murder and charged as a juvenile, pleaded guilty to a first-degree robbery charge and is currently serving 18 months of detention.
“This was not a premeditated murder as we heard inside,” Weaver’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said after Lewis’ plea hearing, according to WABC-TV. “These were 14- and a 13-year-old boys, and we should remember that.”
“We are aware of today's proceeding involving the second guilty plea,” the victim’s family said in a statement. “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.”