Rashaun Weaver was charged with murder for ‘tabbing 18-year-old college student Tessa Majors to death during a botched robbery in a New York park just before Christmas
Weaver, 14, has been charged over the stabbing murder of Tessa Majors in Manhattan’s Morningside Park on December 11
Weaver faces two counts of murder and will be tried in court as an adult
The NY teen who has been accused in a similar mugging two days earlier also faces four counts of robbery related charges
Charging documents allege Weaver repeatedly plunged the knife into Majors while two other teens stood and watched
Another teen, 13, is already in custody over the killing of Majors has admitted to robbing the victim and having witnessed the fatal stabbing
In addition to the two murder charges, one intentional and one felony, Weaver also faces four counts of robbery related charges. t
At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea revealed that Weaver will be tried in court as an adult.
He also revealed that Weaver was the same teen suspect who bolted from the vehicle transporting to his police interview and went on the run in December. Weaver’s arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.
Cops allege 18-year-old Majors, a freshman at the prestigious Barnard College, was confronted by a group of Weaver and two other teens as she walked through Morningside Park on the evening of December 11, before she was stabbed in a botched robbery.
Prosecutors allege Weaver is the one who repeatedly plunged the knife into Majors as she cried for help.
During Saturday’s press conference, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance also revealed tragic new details about Majors’ final minutes. He stated she lay conscious and heavily bleeding as bystanders waited for an ambulance.
Her last known words were believed to be: ‘Help me! I’m being robbed!’
Meanwhile, the first suspect held for the crime, a 13-year-old boy is already is still in custody over the robbery of Majors – however it is believed he was not responsible for the actual stabbing of Majors, but watched events unfold after picking up the murder weapon and handing it to the killer.
A third minor suspect who was initially questioned but was later released, has not yet been formally arrested or charged.
Murder robbery victim Majors was an aspiring musician and a freshman at the prestigious Barnard College, located near Morningside Park in Manhattan
Speaking on Weaver’s arrest at a press conference on Saturday, Commissioner Shea stated: ‘What we can do is say that we are confident that we have the person in custody who stabbed her, and that person will face justice in a court of law’.
He added: Sadly, [this] cannot bring back this young woman. That is something even the best, most impartial investigation simply cannot do.’
District Attorney Vance stated that there is substantial evidence that proves Weaver stabbed Majors.
DA Vance stated that there is: ‘Video evidence, blood evidence, smartphone evidence, iCloud evidence, witness identification, and the defendant’s owned statements that were rigorously collected and examined’.
At the age of 14 Weaver appears to be on his way to amassing a small dossier of violent crime. He is accused of conducting a separate mugging in Morningside Park four days prior to the Majors killing.
According to the victim of that mugging, Weaver and two other boys confronted him on the night of December 7 and stole his iPhone. Just hours later, the iPhone was connected to an iCloud account in Weaver’s name.
The mugging victim later identified Weaver from a photo line up.
The 14-year-old murder suspect was seen on surveillance camera wearing the exact same outfit during both his alleged December 7 mugging and his alleged December 11 stabbing of Majors.
At 6.47 pm, a witness ‘heard a male voice from the area [believed to be Weaver] say [to Majors]: ‘Run your s**t. Gimme your phone. You got some weed, gimme that too.’
The witness then heard a female scream, ‘Help me! I’m being robbed!’
Surveillance footage shows Majors later stagger up the Morningside Park steps to reach a security gate. She lay conscious and bleeding before she was rushed to a nearby hospital.
She was pronounced dead at 7.23 pm – meaning there was more than half an hour between the time of the attack and her death.
Weaver was the suspect who fled from a car five days after Majors’ murder, while on his way to meet with police for questioning. It sparked an intensive ten-day manhunt, before Weaver was tracked down at a family member’s home in The Bronx.
Police believed his family was hiding him until a mark on his hand healed. After being tracked down and interviewed, he was released.
He has allegedly confessed to being part of the group who was present when she was stabbed, but said he stood and watched as it happened.
At a pre-trial hearing last month, police officer Randys Ramos Luna testified how he tracked the boy down.
He had watched a grainy surveillance video of three young teens, believed to be students at a nearby middle school in Harlem, leaving the park shortly after the murder robbery.
He went to a residential area near the school and found the 13-year-old, who reportedly confessed to watching the stabbing take place.
The murder which embroiled the New York establishment in a war of words sent shockwaves through Manhattan, with many saying the violent incident was reminiscent of crime in New York two decades ago .
As the NYPD also faced accusations of ‘victim blaming’, after the police union chief claimed Majors may have been in the park seeking to buy marijuana, police union chiefs blamed Bill de Blasio for it, saying he is making it difficult for regular cops to crack down on street crime.