One of the three teenagers charged in the attempted robbery and fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student at a New York City park in 2019 pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder, authorities said.
The teen, Luchiano Lewis, 16, also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. Lewis was charged as an adult.
Tessa Majors, 18, was fatally stabbed at Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan on the night of Dec. 11, 2019.
Lewis' attorney, Alex Padilla, declined to comment Tuesday. Vance’s office said Lewis will be sentenced Oct. 14.
During the robbery attempt, officials said, one of the three teens put Majors in a chokehold as the others rifled through her pockets. Authorities said Majors fought back and bit one of the robbers' fingers.
In the struggle, she was stabbed repeatedly in the torso, police said. She was able to stagger out of the park but died at a nearby hospital.
Majors, of Virginia, was a freshman at Barnard, a woman’s college affiliated with Columbia University.
A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty last year, NBC New York reported. NBC News is not naming him because he is a minor who was charged as a juvenile.
A third teen, a 16-year-old who was charged as an adult, has a pending case before the court. NBC News is not naming him because he is a minor who has not been convicted. He pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges and is due back in court Oct. 18.
2019: Memorial held in honor of Tessa MajorsDec. 22, 201900:27
Lewis said in court Tuesday that the teens planned to rob someone but that he didn’t think any of them were planning to use a knife, Vance’s office said in a statement. When they saw Majors, the teens planned to steal her phone, Lewis said in court.
Lewis said he saw one of the defendants struggling with Majors. He also said that when they saw a witness, they ran away.
Lewis said Tuesday that he did not see the stabbing but that he did see feathers coming out of Majors' jacket.
Lewis said that after the attack, one of the teens said Majors had bitten him, and he said they got nothing from the attempted robbery. Lewis said he didn’t learn that Majors had been killed until the next morning, when he saw a photo of her on a smartphone.