A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to robbery in the first degree on Wednesday in the case of Tessa Majors, the 18-year-old Barnard College student who was stabbed to death in a New York City park last December. The teen will be sentenced on June 15. Prosecutors are offering 18 months of detention, with a 6-month minimum and credit for time served in pretrial detention. The murder charge against the teen, who was 13 at the time of Majors’ death, was dropped.
During the hearing prosecutor Rachel Glantz explained that her team offered the guilty plea due to the boy’s age and the fact that this was his first experience with the juvenile justice system. After confirming to Judge Carol Goldstein that he wanted to plead guilty, the teen then addressed the court. “We went to the park… one of my friends dropped a knife. I picked up the knife… after that we saw Tessa Majors on the stairs inside Morningside Park,” he said. The teen had previously admitted that he had been present for the attack and had picked up the knife that had been used. Two other teens were taken into custody in February and are being charged as adults. Their cases are pending.
Majors, a Virginia native, was stabbed multiple times in New York City’s Morningside Park at approximately 7 p.m. on December 11. She managed to climb up a staircase onto the street, where a security guard found her and called for help.