13yo charged with teen’s murder
The New York City stabbing murder of 18-year-old Tessa Majors has taken on another tragic element after a 13-year-old boy was arrested in connection to her brutal death.
Ms Majors, a Barnard College freshman, was the victim of what appears to be a robbery gone wrong when she was allegedly set upon by the youths at the base of stairs in Morningside Park near West 116th Street and Morningside Drive around 5.30pm on Wednesday.
Investigators found a trail of blood, indicating that Ms Majors had tried to make her way back up the park stairs towards Morningside Drive, police sources said.
Preliminary information suggested that Ms Majors was stabbed several times in the face, neck and under her arm.
The New York Post reports Ms Majors was in the park to buy marijuana when she was attacked.
The teen was arrested after being spotted trespassing in a building a day after the attack wearing clothes that matched the description of one of the alleged offenders, CBS News reports.
In a children's court, gruesome new details of the attack were detailed.
The New York Times reports the murder suspect walked into the courtroom on Friday wearing black sweatpants, Air Jordan sneakers and a navy hoodie.
He nervoursly bit his bottom lip as a court officer asked his name, then his age. "I'm 13," he replied.
Detective Vincent Signoretti gave evidence that the 13-year-old boy said his two friends grabbed Ms Majors, put her in a chokehold and robbed her.
The detective gave evidence that the teen said he did not stab Ms Majors - the boy watched his friend slash her with a knife and saw feathers flying out from her coat's stuffing.
The boy, whose name has not been made public, is among just a handful of people in their early teens to be charged with murder in the city in recent years. He will be tried as a juvenile delinquent in family court.
The teen's lawyer, Hannah Kaplan of the Legal Aid Society, said police didn't have evidence beyond the statement from her client, who she said hadn't been arrested before.
"There is no allegation my client touched the complainant in this case," Ms Kaplan said.
"He was merely present when this took place."
The attackers are all believed to attend a middle school near the park, police have said.
Investigators recovered a knife on Thursday but were not certain whether it was connected to Ms Majors' death.
Police have since increased patrols around the park and campus, which is part of the Ivy League's Columbia University.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC Radio that he was "absolutely confident that any individuals involved in this terrible, heinous attack will be brought to justice and will be brought to justice quickly".
Under state law, the teen can only be tried as an adult if he is charged with intentional murder.
Ms Majors was killed just as the semester at all-women's Barnard College was winding down, with final exams set to begin last Friday followed by a month break.
She sang and played bass guitar in the rock band Patient 0.
After her first New York show in October, Ms Majors wrote on Instagram: "Safe to say the first NYC show went well ;)"
Her Instagram account also offered glimpses into Ms Majors' personality and her move from Virginia to the big city, from farewells to the "ville" to posts about college life.
Her father, Inman Majors, is the author of six novels and an English professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
"We are thankful for the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from across the country," a family statement said. "We would also like to express our appreciation for the efforts of the men and women of the NYPD who continue to work diligently on this case."
- with AP