A teenage boy was arrested Friday in connection to the murder of Tessa Majors, a first-year Barnard College student who was fatally stabbed in late 2019.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced the arrest during a Saturday press conference, shortly after 14-year-old Rashaun Weaver was indicted on two counts of second-degree murder as well as multiple counts of robbery.
"We’re dealing with a 14-year-old and what I want to say is that as the district attorney, we will be very careful to safeguard all the rights that he has, as we go forward on this case," Vance told the media, as reported by the New York Times. "Only a fair process will result in true justice for Tessa Majors."
Authorities say Majors was walking near Morningside Park in Manhattan on Dec. 11, when she was attacked by three assailants who were trying to rob her. The 18-year-old woman was stabbed several times during the attack, but managed to make her way to the street to find help. Majors died at the hospital shortly after.
On Dec. 12, police detained a 13-year-old suspect in connection to the murder. The boy ultimately implicated himself and two of his classmates, including Weaver. New York police arrested another 14-year-old boy on Dec. 12, but were unable to track down Weaver. So the department made the controversial decision to release the teen's photograph online.
Weaver was taken into custody on Dec. 26 and was released the same day without any charges.
Investigators arrested Weaver after collecting and presenting evidence against the teenager. The evidence included witness testimony, blood samples, video footage, and an audio recording in which Weaver admitted to striking Majors with a knife.
"Sadly, [the arrest] cannot bring back this young woman, this student, this victim," police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, said during the press conference. "We can say we are confident that we have the person in custody who stabbed her."
Weaver, who turns 15 in two months, will be tried as an adult. He will be arraigned on Feb. 19.