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Local woman's killer sentenced in New York

The New York teenager who pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing Charlottesville resident Tessa Majors in a 2019 botched robbery attempt was sentenced to 14 years to life on Wednesday.

Rashaun Weaver, 16, pleaded guilty in December to murder and robbery in the killing of Tessa Majors, a St. Anne’s-Belfield School graduate and freshman at Barnard College in 2019. He was 14 at the time.

Weaver and another teen were charged as adults in the killing; a 13-year-old was tried as a juvenile. Luchiano Lewis, the other teen charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to murder and robbery and was sentenced in October to nine years to life in prison.

Weaver will be eligible for parole after 14 years and Lewis after nine years, according to New York law.

According to police officials and media reports, Majors was walking near the college in Morningside Park when she was approached by the boys, who later told police they were attempting to rob her of her cell phone.

Majors resisted the robbery attempt and was stabbed several times after biting Weaver, according to police. It was the bite wound that led police to identify her assailant. She made it up the stairs and out of the park to a school guard house, where she collapsed.

Before sentencing, a victim’s impact statement from Majors’ family was read to the court.

“Tess Majors cannot say how being murdered impacted her because she is dead. She is dead forever and will not be coming back,” said the statement, which was supplied to The Daily Progress. “The family of Tess Majors doesn’t know what Tess would say at this moment about being murdered by Rashaun Weaver. They know she was against murder and violence in general and that she never harmed another human being in her 18 years on the planet.”

In the statement, family members said they “have no idea what it is like to experience what she experienced. No idea what it is to fight with three males – all of them larger than she — for over a minute, escaping two times only to be surrounded and targeted again.”

The family said that Majors, who played bass guitar in a rock band and wrote songs, likely fought for her iPhone because the phone contained three years of songs she’d written and planned to record.

“[The family has] no idea what it is like to stumble up a long flight of stairs after being stabbed multiple times in the chest, her phone still in her hand,” they wrote. “They have no idea what it is like to bleed to death on a New York City street in the presence of strangers next to a security booth.”

The family said they miss her “every second of every day and will continue to do so as long as they are living and sentient. Their pain is immeasurable and does not go away.”

Weaver, whose attorney said lived a troubled and difficult life as a child, told the court he would “give anything to go back in time so that it never happened” in a statement read before his sentencing.

“I never set out to harm her,” Weaver he said. “Nothing I say or do for the rest of my life will make up for the harm and pain I caused.”

Weaver thanked his family for their support.

“You have continued to love me even as society hates me,” he said.


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