A teen who participated in the slaying of a Barnard College student was sentenced to nine years to life in prison on Thursday by a judge who said the youngster’s actions that day were “not an aberration.”
Luchiano Lewis, 16, was charged as an adult and last month pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery of Tessa Majors, 18, who was fatally stabbed at Morningside Park in New York City on Dec. 11, 2019.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Mandelbaum said there should be no leniency for Lewis because he’s been accused of participating in several gang assaults while in jail in the past year.
“This is not an aberration,” Mandelbaum said. “The defendant has learned no lessons from his experience in this case.”
Lewis has said he and two other teenagers were looking for someone to rob that day when they came upon Majors, then a freshman from Charlottesville, Virginia.
In his allocution on Thursday, Lewis implicated friend Rashaun Weaver, also now 16, as Majors’ primary attacker nearly two years ago.
Lewis claimed he didn’t see the exact moment Majors was stabbed, but recounted seeing feathers flying from her jacket and said Weaver was carrying a knife that day.
Weaver has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges. His attorney could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
The third teen, Zyairr Davis, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
Lewis sobbed in court on Thursday, said he was sorry and apologized to his father for failing him.
Prosecutors played security video showing the mortally wounded Majors, who was stabbed in the heart, staggering out Morningside Park. The footage was too much for the victim’s father, James Madison University English professor Inman Majors, to handle as he left the courtroom in tears.
“On December 11, 2019, the hopes and dreams of our daughter Tess came to a tragic end,” her family said in statement read in court by Manhattan Assistant DA Matthew Bogdanos. “Nearly two years later, we still find words inadequate to describe the immeasurable pain, trauma and suffering that our family has endured since her senseless murder.”
As life goes on for Majors’ friends, the victim’s family said that day-to-day joy is a constant reminder of what could have been for the slain Barnard College student.
“Our hearts ache as we watch Tessa’s friends return to school, perform at concerts, start new jobs, and experience things our family never will,” according to the family statement.