Tessa Majors

Teen Charged in Connection With Barnard Student's Murder to Appear in Court

The 13-year-old told police that he wasn't the one who stabbed Tessa Majors in Morningside Park

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What to Know

  • A teen who has been charged in connection with the stabbing of 18-year-old Tessa Majors in Morningside Park was in court Thursday
  • A family court judge heard arguments over if the teen should be released from juvenile detention
  • He is one of three youths police believe were involved in the stabbing but he has testified that he wasn't the one who stabbed the Barnard College freshman on Dec. 11

A 13-year-old boy allegedly involved in the brutal stabbing of 18-year-old Tessa Majors appeared in court Thursday as the defense asked for the teen to be released from juvenile detention.

While the boy's attorneys fought for his release, prosecutors cited a report made by the detention center that mentioned he made an aggressive gesture towards staff at one point. The defense maintained that the report on the whole was not bad.

It was previously believed that the family court judge would rule whether or not the teen's statement to police can be used as evidence in the Barnard College freshman's murder case, but that topic was not discussed at Thursday's hearing.

The boy was arrested Dec. 13 and charged as a juvenile with felony murder. He told detectives he was at Manhattan’s Morningside Park on Dec. 11 with the other youths but wasn't the one who stabbed Majors, police said.

He is one of three youths police believe were involved in the stabbing.

Another juvenile suspect was questioned for several hours, also on Dec. 13, but police let him go, Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said. He has declined to say why that boy wasn’t charged.

A 14-year-old suspect was released from police custody last week, mere hours after New York City police said he had been located following a two-week manhunt. Police tracked him down after taking the unusual step of releasing photographs of him but not his name or any other identifying information.

Majors was stabbed while walking in the park just before 7 p.m., two days before the start of final exams at Barnard, an all-women's school that is part of the Ivy League’s Columbia University.

She staggered up a flight of stairs to street level and collapsed in a crosswalk.

Her death has troubled city and college leaders, both for its proximity to campus and its apparent randomness. Some city leaders have urged police to use caution in investigating Majors' death to avoid repeating mistakes made with the Central Park Five — a group of five black and Hispanic teens wrongfully convicted of a 1989 rape.

Classmates gathered in Morningside Park for a vigil to remember Tessa Majors, the Barnard College student killed during a robbery. Myles Miller reports.
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