Crime and Courts

Tessa Majors Case to Soon Go Before Grand Jury in Manhattan

Police believe at least three teenagers were in some way involved with the Barnard College freshman's killing in Morningside Park

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What to Know

  • Tessa Majors was a freshman at Barnard College when she was stabbed in Morningside Park in what police say was a robbery
  • The 18-year-old fought off her attackers as best she could, biting one of them on the finger
  • One teen has been charged and police are looking into whether two other teenagers thought to be connected to the case can be charged

A grand jury will soon begin hearing evidence in connection with the Manhattan park murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, two sources familiar with the investigation told News 4 Wednesday.

A 13-year-old boy has already been charged with second-degree murder in the case. Officials are looking into whether two other teens believed to be connected to the brutal killing can be charged, the sources said. Investigators believe all three were in Morningside Park when Majors was killed there last month.

The teenager wanted for questioning in the Manhattan park murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors has been located, authorities said in a tweet Thursday.

Majors was in the park just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 when, according to the NYPD, she was a victim of a "robbery gone wrong."

A law enforcement source said a witness saw a group of people running from where the attack happened.

The first-year student was walking through Morningside Park when she was stabbed in an apparent robbery. She stumbled up some stairs where she was found by a security guard, and later died. NBC New York's Ida Siegal reports.

In a hearing for the 13-year-old, police described how the group of teenagers put Majors in a chokehold and removed items from her pockets. The college freshman was able to fight back, biting one of her attackers on the finger, police said.

The teen that had been charged said he watched his friend slash Majors with a knife, according to a detective's testimony.

Detectives say the charged teen watched as Majors was stabbed at the base of the steps, feathers coming out of her jacket as she struggled to fight back. She was stabbed multiple times and managed to stagger out of the park to find a security guard for help. Majors died at a hospital.

In a statement last month, Majors' family said they want to know "what exactly happened to Tess and who committed her murder. We believe, for the immediate safety of the community and the surrounding schools, that should be everyone’s top priority and we are grateful to the men and women of the NYPD for all of their efforts."

In the wake of Majors' death, Barnard and Columbia faculty reported receiving "abhorrent and viciously racist" robocall messages from a white supremacist organization, and a Connecticut man was arrested after police say he posted online that he was going to kill the suspected stabber.

As police questioned and released two teenagers in connection to the stabbing death of Tess Majors, the community gathered to remember her and wonder how this could have happened. NBC New York’s Ray Villeda reports.

Police immediately stepped up security in the park area after Majors died. Crime statistics show more robberies were reported in Morningside Park this year than in any other park in the city.

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