Tessa Majors

Teen Who Pleaded Guilty in Deadly Botched Robbery of Tessa Majors Gets 9 Years to Life

Luchiano Lewis pleaded guilty last month to murder and robbery charges in the 2019 stabbing death of Bernard College Student Tessa Majors

NBC Universal, Inc. A 16-year-old pleads guilty to murdering 18-year-old Barnard College student, Tessa Majors. Marc Santia reports.

What to Know

  • The teen who pleaded guilty in the botched robbery stabbing death of Barnard College student Tessa Majors in 2019 was sentenced Thursday to nine years to life.
  • Luchiano Lewis admitted to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in open court last 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 teen who pleaded guilty in the botched robbery stabbing death of Barnard College student Tessa Majors in 2019 was sentenced Thursday to nine years to life.

Luchiano Lewis was sentenced by Justice Robert Mandelbaum of Manhattan's criminal court, who said there would be no leniency after Lewis was accused of be getting into several gang fights while incarcerated.

"The defendant has demonstrated in the year and a half since this incident "this is not an aberration," the judge said. "The defendant has learned no lessons from his experience in this case."

Lewis was also sentenced to 3.3 years for the robbery. It is unclear if the sentences will be served concurrently.

Lewis admitted to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in open court last month. His family didn't comment on the case at that time.

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. Weaver returns to court next week.

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.

A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said at a rare Saturday news conference.

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 last month, 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 District Attorney Office's investigation into Weaver.

During Thursday's sentencing, Majors' family submitted an victim impact statement that read in part: "On December 11, 2019, the hopes and dreams of our daughter Tessa came to an end...Our hearts ache as we watch Tessa's friends return to school, perform at concerts, start new jobs, and experience things our family never will."

"Murder shouldn't be normalized or rationalized."

A 16-year-old pleads guilty to murdering 18-year-old Barnard College student, Tessa Majors. Marc Santia reports.

Lewis cried as he apologized for his role in the case, saying he's human and accepts his penalty. He also apologized to his father for failing him.