Feb. 16 (UPI) — Police arrested a 14-year-old in connection with the December killing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, the New York Police Department said Saturday.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea named Rashaun Weaver as a suspect in the stabbing death of Majors, who was killed Dec. 11 in a New York City park in what authorities have described as a robbery gone wrong.
“Sadly, it cannot bring back this young woman, this student, this victim. That is something even the best, most impartial investigation simply cannot do,” Shea said. “What we can do is say that we are confident we have the person in custody who stabbed her, and that person will face justice in a court of law.”
Authorities said at approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday, Weaver was taken into custody without incident and held overnight, then charged Saturday with two counts of second-degree murder — with one count representing intentional murder and the other felony murder, a murder caused in the course of a robbery.
According to the criminal complaint released Saturday and posted by WCBS-TV in New York City, Weaver also faces multiple robbery charges.
“Both our offices, the police and the Manhattan [District Attorney’s] office, working in seamless collaboration determined from day one that whatever the opposite of a rush to judgment is, that is how this investigation would proceed,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said Saturday.
In December police arrested a 13-year-old in connection with Majors’ death.
That suspect’s name has not been released and because of his age, he will be prosecuted in family court, Vance said Saturday.
But, according to Vance, the law gives jurisdiction to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to prosecute 14-year-olds and also requires that Weaver be tried as an adult.
“We’re dealing with a 14-year-old, and what I want to say is that we will be careful to safeguard all rights that he has as this case moves forward,” Vance said.
He also said Weaver, who was held overnight at a juvenile facility in advance of Saturday’s indictment, would be held in an “age-appropriate” facility as he awaits trial.
Vance said he could not talk about what happened in the grand jury but did tell reporters the indictment does not include a third individual described in the criminal complaint, or in earlier accounts of the incident.