13-year-old sentenced to 18 months for role in robbery, murder of Barnard freshman Tessa Majors

The teen will serve a minimum of six months in a secure facility, officials said.
Tessa Majors.
Tessa Majors.Courtesy of Majors family

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Tim Stelloh

A 13-year-old boy was sentenced to 18 months in custody on Monday after admitting his involvement in the 2019 robbery and killing of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, officials said.

The teen will serve a minimum of six months in a secure facility, New York City’s Office of the Corporation Counsel said in a statement. The city’s children’s services department can then release and monitor him, the office said.

During a video conference, the teen’s lawyer said he wasn’t the “main actor” in the Dec. 11 robbery and slaying in Manhattan’s Morningside Park. In a statement to judge Carol Goldstein, the teen said he went to the park with two other suspects and picked up the knife that was used in the stabbing. He denied participating in the murder.

NBC News is not identifying the teen because he is a minor.

The boy pleaded guilty earlier this month. Two 14-year-old boys charged with murder in Majors’ killing pleaded not guilty earlier this year, the Associated Press reported.

In a victim impact statement, Majors’ parents called her absence “palpable and unrelenting” and criticized the deal that led to the 13-year-old’s guilty plea.

He “has shown a complete lack of remorse or contrition for his role in the murder of Tess Majors,” the statement said. “By his own admission, the respondent picked up a knife that had fallen to the ground and handed it to an individual who then used it to stab Tess Majors to death.”

The statement added: “The family can’t help but wonder what would have happened if that knife had been left on the ground.”

Majors, 18, was from Virginia. She graduated from St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville and interned at the August Free Press before attending Barnard College.

Rana Novini contributed.