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'She Was Hanging Onto Her Phone': Final Tessa Majors Murder Suspect Arrested

All 3 teen boys now in custody in fatal New York stabbing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2020 3:15 PM CST

(Newser) – The third teenage suspect in the fatal stabbing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors was arrested after he turned himself in to police Wednesday morning, CNN reports. Police arrested a 13-year-old boy the day after the Dec. 11 attack in New York City's Morningside Park, and on Friday arrested the 14-year-old boy they say actually wielded the knife; that teen had been arrested Dec. 26 but was initially released. The third and final suspect is another 14-year-old boy whom police had previously questioned but let go, the New York Post reports. Both 14-year-olds, who are being tried as adults, pleaded not guilty in a court appearance Wednesday to charges including second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and second-degree robbery. Prosecutors say one of the 14-year-olds put Majors, 18, in a "bear hug or headlock" while the other stabbed her to death during what authorities say was a botched robbery.

They say all three boys considered two other victims before settling on Majors as she walked in the park. "The defendant stated ... that he was in the park and tried to take the girl’s phone and ‘she was hanging onto her phone’ and that he hit her with a knife," according to a criminal complaint. Per NBC New York, a witness told police he "heard a male voice [say] 'run your s---. Gimme your phone. You got some weed, gimme that too.'" From the time she walked past them on a staircase to the end of the attack was about one minute, prosecutors say. "It was a sustained attack, sustained in both space and time," says one. The judge ruled Wednesday that the teens should remain in detention while awaiting trial. The 13-year-old is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon; surveillance video shows him standing 10 feet away during the attack. (Read more Tessa Majors stories.)

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