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Luchiano Lewis, 16, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in a deal with prosecutors last month. — Reuters pic
Luchiano Lewis, 16, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in a deal with prosecutors last month. — Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, Oct 15 ― A teenage boy was sentenced yesterday to nine years to life in prison for the 2019 murder of 18-year-old college student Tessa Majors in New York.

Luchiano Lewis, 16, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in a deal with prosecutors last month.

Lewis, who was 14 at the time of the crime, told investigators that he and two friends had gone to Harlem’s Morningside Park in December 2019 with the intention of robbing someone. They chose college freshman Majors, attacking her in a botched robbery that ended in her death by stabbing.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office charged Lewis and a friend, Rashaun Weaver, 16, as adults for the murder. Weaver has pleaded not guilty and faces a separate murder trial next month.

The third member of the group was 13 at the time of the attack and confessed. He is serving 18 months in a juvenile detention centre.

During the sentencing hearing yesterday, a prosecutor read aloud a statement from Majors’ family.

“On December 11, 2019, the hopes and dreams of our daughter Tess came to a tragic end. 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,” the family statement said.

“Our hearts ache as we watch Tess’s friends return to school, perform in concerts and experience all the things our daughter never will,” the statement added.

Majors was attending Barnard College in Manhattan.

The judge, Robert Mandelbaum, said before the sentencing that Lewis had been repeatedly violent while in detention.

“The defendant has demonstrated in a year and a half since this terrible incident that this was not an aberration,” the judge said. ― Reuters

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