13-Year-Old Suspect in Student Killing: I Didn't Do It

Police say the boy watched it happen
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2019 1:00 PM CST
13-Year-Old Suspect in Student Killing: I Didn't Do It
Tessa Majors.   (YouTube/NBC News)

A suspect in the killing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors looked nervous when asked his age. "I'm 13," he said. So began a surreal Friday court hearing in which the suspect's side of the story was conveyed by a police detective, the New York Times reports. Seems the suspect and two of his 14-year-old classmates entered Morningside Park, which borders Harlem near the university campus, seeking a robbery victim on Wednesday. "They followed a man ... with the intention of robbing him" but turned to Majors instead, said Detective Vincent Signoretti, per the New York Post. The suspect then "watched his friends grab the victim, put her in a chokehold and remove items from her pocket."

The 18-year-old student fought back by biting a robber's finger but was punished with a knife blade, per NBC New York. The suspect "saw the victim get stabbed," said Signoretti. "He saw feathers come out of her jacket, and then all three of them ran out of the park ... and they went home." Majors was later found with multiple stab wounds to her body and face, taken to hospital, and pronounced dead. The 13-year-old suspect—described by a neighbor as "a normal person" who "hangs out" and "smokes weed"—is expected to be charged with second-degree felony murder, robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon, but not as an adult, so the Times hasn't named him. He also told police about his accomplices, one of whom has been arrested. (Read more about Majors.)

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