One teen charged in the murder of Barnard freshman Tessa Majors confessed his role in the murder in a recorded jailhouse conversation with his father, according to a source with knowledge of the case.
Majors, an 18-year-old freshman at Barnard, was stabbed several times while walking through Manhattan’s Morningside Park on December 11. Authorities say she staggered her way up a flight of stairs and was later found by a school security officer. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Rashaun Weaver, who was 14 years old at the time of the murder, is charged with two counts of murder in the second degree. Luchiano Lewis, who was also 14 at the time of the murder, was charged with one count of murder in the second degree in connection with the case. Both are being tried as adults and have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors said in February that Weaver was heard on an “audio recording” describing his role in the alleged crimes, including hitting the victim with a knife. CNN has not independently confirmed the contents of the recording.
An attorney for Weaver called leaks of alleged evidence in the case “repulsive.”
“The effort to demonize a 14-year-old boy already facing life in prison by the leaking of alleged evidence of an alleged confession is repulsive,” Jeffrey Lichtman said in a statement to CNN. “But then again trying a 5’6″ 120 pound 14-year-old boy as an adult is equally repulsive in a civilized society so today’s news isn’t a surprise.”
Another boy who is now 14, who CNN is not naming because he was not charged as an adult, was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services in June.
At his plea hearing, the teen told the court he went to Morningside Park with Weaver and Lewis intending to rob someone.
“After that, we saw Tessa Majors walking on the stairs inside the park. Rashaun went up to her and said something to her and Tessa yelled for help. Rashaun used the knife that I had handed to him to stab Tessa and I saw feathers coming out of her coat,” he said.
The teen said in court that the three ran out of the park together.
Prosecutors said between Weaver and Lewis, one is responsible for stabbing Majors while the over put her in a “bear hug or headlock.” There was DNA matching that of one defendant under one of Majors’ fingernails, prosecutors said.
The entire interaction from the moment Majors walked passed them, including the robbery and stabbing, took roughly a minute, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos said in February.
Majors appeared to be their third target the day she was killed, he said.
The three zeroed in and briefly followed two other people before passing Majors on a staircase and deciding on her, Bogdanos said in February.