Bwog Staff brings you a legal update on the case of Tess Majors.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested Friday night at a Harlem housing project for the stabbing of Tess Majors. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance told reporters that the boy has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder: one for intentional murder and one for felony murder committed during a robbery. He has also been charged with four counts of robbery.
According to the criminal complaint, DNA found from Tess’ fingernail matched that of the defendant, and an audio recording captures the defendant explaining how Tess would not give their phone to him, so he “hit [them] with a knife.” This is the same 14-year-old that was difficult to track down, prompting the NYPD to share photographs of him with the public; this is also the same boy that was initially released without any charges in late December 2019. The boy will be tried as an adult and has currently been remanded into custody; he will be arraigned on February 19th, according to Vance. This arrest is in addition to the arrest made on December 12th, 2019, one day after the murder occurred. Read more about that here.
When New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced the arrest, Shea said “‘We are confident that we have the person in custody who stabbed her.'”
Bwog attempted to reach out to Barnard College and the organization Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, who is representing the defendant, for comment. Barnard College has responded with the following message:
“We are grateful for the ongoing efforts of the NYPD to investigate this terrible crime. Out of respect for the process and Tess’s family we will have no further comment on the legal process.”
The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem has not yet responded to comment as of February 15th, 2020. We will update this post if that changes.
Initial updates derived from this CNN article.
Update on February 19th, 2020 at 12:48 pm:
Another 14-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday and is expected to be charged with robbery and second-degree murder. Whether he will be charged as an adult or a juvenile is still unclear.
Update on February 19th, 2020 at 9:50 pm:
Both of the 14-year-olds have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Tess Majors.
Update on February 19th, 2020 at 11:16 pm:
The third suspect turned himself in Wednesday morning. Against the request of his attorney, he has been remanded by Manhattan’s Criminal Court. He has been charged as an adult with second-degree murder and first and second-degree robbery.
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