NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 13-year-old boy arrested in the deadly stabbing of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors was in family court on Tuesday, where the judge found there was enough evidence to hold the teenager until trial.
The boy claims he watched his two friends rob and stab the 18-year-old last Wednesday in Morningside Park. He was caught trespassing near the scene and charged with second-degree murder, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.
According to a detective, the 13-year-old confessed to being in Morningside Park on Dec. 11 with two other friends with the intent to rob someone. Police said the teens followed a man into the park, but ended up not targeting him.
The detective testified that the young teen said he picked up a knife and handed it to one of the other boys. He allegedly said it was the other two who confronted and stabbed Majors after she apparently did not comply with the robbery.
The 13-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder.
According to the detective, the 13-year-old said that he was further away and was not involved in the attack, but ran away with the pair.
Police said grainy surveillance video did not show the teenager attacking Majors or stealing from her afterwards.
Still, a judge found there was intent to do harm and ordered the teenager be held in custody.
Meanwhile, police continue to search for a 14-year-old in the connection with the case. He agreed to meet with officers Monday, but failed to show up for the meeting.
A law enforcement source told CBS News the 14-year-old apparently bolted from a car in Harlem as a family member was driving him to the meeting.
“It’s not right that he’s freely out in the street when this young lady lost her life,” Nakasha Fuentes, who works at the school, told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
The NYPD is now investigating whether an uptick in reported attacks in the park was addressed properly.
“Certainly, there was some indication of a problem. And when you see that, you’re supposed to act on it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “If there was a trend, was it acted on sufficiently?”
Police have stepped up patrols around the park, and university officials said the security booths near the scene of the crime will now have public safety officers inside 24/7, and the campus evening shuttle will have extended hours.
“It makes us very nervous and not at ease about the things that can happen, especially after hours in the park,” resident Brenda Ortiz said.
Still, those who knew Majors said they wish more had been done sooner.
“The school is very hurt, and it’s sad that this had to happen to her,” Fuentes said.
Investigators are also testing two knives for DNA evidence.