A 16-year-old named Luchiano Lewis was sentenced to 9 years to life for his involvement in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard student Tessa Majors in Morningside Park on Dec. 11, 2019. Lewis said he and two other boys had gone to the park that night to rob someone. They confronted her on the stairs in the park, and after a scuffle one of them stabbed her. She died after stumbling to the top of the stairs.
Lewis was 14 at the time of the murder, as was another of the boys alleged to be involved, Rashaun Weaver. A third boy was 13 and was sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention. Weaver has pleaded not guilty and his trial date is expected to be set next week, according to the New York Times. Prosecutors charged Weaver and Luchiano as adults.
Lewis had initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea last month.
At the sentencing, a prosecutor read a statement from Majors’ father Inman.
“Nearly two years later, we still find words inadequate to describe the immeasurable pain, trauma, and suffering that our family has endured since her senseless murder,” he said, according to the Daily News. “It is hard for many old friends to be around us. Our grief is too profound. We are too changed from the people we used to be.”
“As a human I feel ashamed, embarrassed and sad at the role I played. Nothing I say or do can change that fact,” Lewis said to Inman Majors.
Justice Robert Mandelbaum said that Lewis had been cited for violence in prison, including being involved in slashing another prisoner.
“I agree that one bad choice — even one horrific choice — standing alone should not prevent leniency in the case of a young offender,” Justice Mandelbaum said, according to the Times. “But the defendant has demonstrated in a year and a half since this terrible incident that this was not an aberration.”