One of the teens arrested in the botched robbery stabbing death of Barnard College student Tessa Majors in 2019 has pleaded guilty.
Luchiano Lewis admitted to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in open court on Tuesday afternoon; his family didn't comment on the case. He'll be sentenced next month.
He's the second of three boys arrested in the death of Majors, a freshman from Charlottesville, Virginia. A 14-year-old boy, who News 4 is not identifying because he was charged as a juvenile, pleaded guilty last year.
The third teen arrested in the case, 16-year-old Rashaun Weaver, has yet to stand trial. Authorities say he's the one who stabbed Majors.
TESSA MAJORS CASE
In his allocution, Lewis said that the trio had gone to Morningside Park on Dec. 11, 2019, looking for someone to rob. They started to go after one man, he said, but he was walking too quickly for them to keep up. Then, they passed Majors, who was looking at her phone.
That's when Lewis said Weaver ran up behind her and kicked her in the back and demanded her phone and cash. She responded "are you seriously trying to rob me?" and the two tussled on the ground.
Lewis said that he and the other boy watched as the two fought, and Lewis yelled "witness" when a man walked by, but Weaver allegedly didn't stop going after Majors, who yelled "coward."
According to Lewis' allocution, it's not clear when Majors was stabbed but he said that he saw feathers coming out of her puffer jacket at one point. But, he said he knew Weaver had a knife on him that night.
Majors broke free after a few more seconds, Lewis said, and he convinced Weaver to leave after seeing a second witness.
Lewis said that he didn't know that Majors had been stabbed at that point and didn't learn she had died until the next morning when he had heard that there was a murder in the park the next day.
Majors' slaying drew national attention and set off a citywide manhunt for her killers. In a statement Tuesday, the family said "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."
Lewis' guilty plea was first reported by the New York Post. The paper reports that he's cooperating in the Manhattan DA's investigation into Weaver.
The family of Majors issued a statement after the guilty plea was entered, saying that they "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."
Majors' father is expected to address the court at Lewis' sentencing in October.