Updates on the case of Tess Majors following the arrest of two more suspects.

Memorial Website

A memorial website has been set up for “celebrating Tess’s words and music.” It features their writings and music, as well as photos and videos from their life and performances. 

The 13-Year-Old Suspect

Given that all of the suspects are minors, Bwog will not be identifying them in our reporting. The first suspect charged in the case in December for robbery, weapons possession, and felony murder is still being held in a detention facility awaiting his March 16th trial date. His representation’s requests for his release have been denied by the Family Court. During a court appearance on February 5th, NYPD Officer Randy Ramos Luna testified that he found a knife in the suspect’s backpack the day after the stabbing, and that the suspect matched video evidence from the park. However, Officer Luna did not state if the knife found is believed to be the one used in the stabbing, and informed the Court that the suspect had claimed that “he was holding the knife for a close friend.” The suspect also confirmed that he was wearing similar shoes to the individual in the surveillance footage.

The First 14-Year-Old Suspect

As Bwog reported on February 15th, a 14-year-old was arrested in Harlem on February 14th and is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder and four counts of robbery, proven using DNA evidence recovered from Tess’s fingernails. These charges also include the robbery of another individual in the same park. The NYPD had released photos of him soon after the incident but released him without charges back in December. This suspect is the one who is believed to have used the knife in the fatal stabbing during a failed robbery attempt to steal Tess’s phone. He has been indicted as an adult and pled not guilty, and he will remain in custody until his trial. 

The Second 14-Year-Old Suspect

After turning himself in on February 19th, a second 14-year-old been charged as an adult in Manhattan’s Criminal Court with second-degree murder and first and second-degree robbery.  He appeared in court later that day along with the first 14-year-old, both of whom pled not guilty and are currently being held without bail at a juvenile detention facility

Court Process

Although both the 14-year-olds are minors, the two have been indicted with intentional murder, and are therefore being charged as adults through the Criminal Court. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office explained in a press release that this conclusion was made using “witness accounts, video evidence, blood evidence, DNA evidence, iCloud evidence, and defendant statements.” Since the 13-year-old is being investigated for felony murder, the murder is not seen as intentional but rather as a by-product of a felony robbery, which allows for him to be processed as a minor in Family Court. All three are currently in custody awaiting trial.

Links to Previous Bwog Coverage

Barnard College via the Bwog Archives