Her parents, Inman and Christy Majors, were in court as Rashaun Weaver, who was 14 when Majors was killed, was sentenced.
A prosecutor read a victim impact statement from her family detailing the pain they have endured since she was killed.
“The family of Tess Majors misses her every second of every day and will continue to do so as long as they are living and sentient,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos said, reading from the statement.
Weaver pleaded guilty in December to murder in the second degree, telling the court he “intentionally caused the death of Tessa Majors by stabbing her with a knife.”
At his sentencing Wednesday, Weaver spoke in court and apologized to the Majors family.
“I never set out to harm her and I would give anything to go back in time so that it never happened,” Weaver said. “Nothing I say or do for the rest of my life will make up for the harm and pain I caused.”
Weaver also thanked his family for supporting him, telling them, “You have continued to love me even as society hates me.”
Weaver is the third and final teen to be sentenced in relation to the attack on Majors.
Luchiano Lewis was 14 at the time of the murder but was charged as an adult. He pleaded guilty to murder and robbery charges and was sentenced in October to nine years to life in prison.
In 2020, an unnamed teen who was not charged as an adult pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services.
“We went to the park planning to rob someone,” the boy said in a statement read in court.
“After that, we saw Tessa Majors walking on the stairs inside the park. Rashaun went up to her and said something to her and Tessa yelled for help. Rashaun used the knife that I had handed to him to stab Tessa and I saw feathers coming out of her coat.”
A troubled childhood
Bogdanos previously said the Majors family consented to the sentencing range of 14 years to life for Weaver.
“We are well aware of his age and his background,” the prosecutor said last month. “We the people have agonized over what sentence to recommend.”
Weaver’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, has said his client had a difficult childhood.
“Sometimes it gets lost on the audience that we’re talking about a kid who was 14 years old when this started — whose brain wasn’t fully developed,” Lichtman said.
“Every role model, every male relative on his father’s side was in jail or just got out of jail. This is the normal for Rashaun Weaver.”
Weaver also pleaded guilty to robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree. Bogdanos said the two robbery charges stemmed from separate incidents — one four days before Majors was killed in 2019, and one that took place on February 14, 2020, the day Weaver was ultimately arrested.
Weaver’s guilty plea in Majors’ slaying “was an opportunity for Rashaun to put this behind him to avoid a much more serious sentence,” Lichtman said.
“I think it was the right thing to do. I don’t feel good about this plea, I think it’s too high for a kid who was 14 years old when this occurred. That being said, this is a horrific crime.”
‘We are forced to relive the events’
Bogdanos said Weaver’s guilty plea will save the Majors family the trauma of enduring a trial.
During the two years since her death, her father has sat through multiple hearings where gruesome details of her death were discussed.
At Lewis’ sentencing in October, Bogdanos said the trio of teens had followed at least one other person before attacking Tessa Majors and said it was a “long, intentional, pre-meditated attack.”
“Without each of their actions, she gets away,” the prosecutor said in October.
At the same sentencing hearing, Inman Majors left the room before prosecutors showed security camera footage of his daughter’s final moments — fighting to climb a steep set of stairs in the park after being stabbed.
“She is struggling now up the stairs. She has minutes left to live. She does not realize at this point why she is light-headed or why she’s dizzy or why she can’t walk or why she can’t stand or why she’s about to fall,” Bogdanos said.
“And she will get to this lamp pole and collapse. And she will die — face down — on a dirty New York City street at the hands of the defendant and two others.”
After Lewis’ sentencing, Majors’ parents released a statement to CNN saying they haven’t been able to properly grieve their daughter in peace.
“With every legal proceeding, we are forced to relive the events of December 11, 2019,” the family’s statement said.
“Nearly two years after her murder, we still have very little closure.”