A teenage boy—who was charged as a minor—was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of The New York City Administration for Children’s Services for his involvement in the robbery that led to the death of Barnard first-year Tess Majors in December 2019. He was 13 years old at the time of the incident.
Majors’ parents Inman and Christy Majors wrote in their victim impact statement, in which victims present an oral or written statement during the sentencing of a convicted person, that since the murder, the 14-year-old “has shown a complete lack of remorse or contrition” and that the loss of their child is “palpable and unrelenting.”
After being in custody since his arrest in December, the now-14-year-old pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery earlier this month. He will serve a minimum of six months in a secure facility and will then be released upon approval from ACS, which will then closely monitor his actions.
The sentence came roughly six months after the death of Majors in Morningside Park, which devastated the Columbia community. The two other 15-year-old suspects, who were 14 at the time of Majors’ death, were taken into custody for the homicide and are currently being charged as adults for second-degree murder and robbery.
In a June 3 remote plea deal, the 14-year-old stated to a judge that he did not touch Majors but picked up and handed the knife to the accomplice who stabbed Majors, according to ABC7.
In an initial hearing in December, Detective Wilfredo Acevedo said the boy did not use the knife or touch any of Majors’ property. Instead, another individual made a stabbing motion, according to surveillance footage.
Following Majors’ death, social media erupted with calls for justice for Majors as some criminal justice experts questioned the fairness of the trial. Prosecutors later released a statement saying they would uphold the rights of the then-suspects to ensure “true justice” would be served. However, community members and experts feared public urgency could have influenced the case.
The Legal Aid Society, which represented the 14-year-old, released the following statement: “This plea clears a path for him and his family to move forward with their lives. His acceptance of responsibility is an important first step.”