D.A. Vance, Police Commissioner Shea Announce Indictment of Two for Murder of Tessa Majors


February 19, 2020

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea today announced the New York Supreme Court indictment of RASHAUN WEAVER, 14, and LUCHIANO LEWIS, 14, for the robbery and murder of 18-year-old Tessa Majors in Morningside Park on December 11, 2019. WEAVER is charged with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree, including one count as intentional murder and one count as felony murder (for a homicide committed during the course of a robbery), while LEWIS is charged with one count of Murder in the Second Degree as felony murder. Both defendants are charged with Robbery in the First and Second Degrees.[1]

“While a criminal process will never fully heal the unimaginable pain suffered by Tessa Majors’ family and friends, this indictment is a significant step forward on the path to justice,” said District Attorney Vance. “We are committed to holding these young people accountable, and equally committed to a fair process which safeguards their rights. This is how we will achieve true justice for Tessa and her loved ones.”

Police Commissioner Shea said: “Detectives, investigators and prosecutors, as well as a grand jury, worked deliberately to ensure that the evidence amassed supported the charges brought, and that now those who allegedly murdered Tessa Majors will be held to account. Nothing can bring her back. That is the tragedy we all must live with.”

As D.A. Vance and Commissioner Shea previously described at a news conference on February 15, 2020, the indictment is the result of a two-month, joint investigation by the NYPD’s Manhattan North Detective Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which included witness accounts, video evidence, blood evidence, DNA evidence, iCloud evidence and defendant statements.

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on December 11, 2019, in Morningside Park, Tessa Majors struggled with WEAVER, LEWIS, and one other male. The victim called for help, and LEWIS prevented the victim’s escape. The victim later broke free and staggered up the stairs leading to Morningside Drive at 116th Street, where she collapsed and stated that she had been stabbed and robbed. She was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead from multiple stab wounds.

Y-STR DNA testing revealed that DNA recovered from the victim’s fingernail matched WEAVER’s Y-STR DNA profile. WEAVER was later heard on an audio recording describing his role in the alleged crimes, including hitting the victim with a knife.

WEAVER is additionally charged with robbing a man at knifepoint in Morningside Park on December 7, 2019. According to iCloud records, WEAVER logged into the man’s stolen iPhone XR hours after the alleged robbery.

Assistant D.A.s Matthew Bogdanos (Senior Trial Counsel) and Elizabeth D’Antonio are handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lynn, Chief of Trial Bureau 50, as well as Executive Assistant D.A. John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Former Assistant D.A. Juan Abreu also assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked Police Commissioner Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison, and members and officers of the NYPD’s Manhattan North Detectives Bureau for their strong collaboration and deliberate, methodical investigation.

Defendant Information:

RASHAUN WEAVER, D.O.B. 4/3/2005

New York, NY

Charged:

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-1 felony, two counts
  • Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, three counts
  • Robbery in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts

LUCHIANO LEWIS, D.O.B. 2/22/2005

New York, NY

Charged:

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-1 felony, one count
  • Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, two counts
  • Robbery in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.