Video of Tessa Majors' last moments does not implicate 13-year-old stabbing suspect, lawyer says

The attorney for a 13-year-old boy accused of taking part in the murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors said Tuesday that video that police have produced as a key piece of evidence does not show her client committing a crime.

Calling what happened to Majors a "terrible tragedy," Legal Aid lawyer Hannah Kaplan said during a probable cause hearing in Manhattan Family Court in New York that the video from a security booth in Morningside Park does not implicate the teenager.

"The evidence here is the opposite," Kaplan said. "The only testimony connecting my client to anything related to Miss Majors' death and alleged robbery is that at some point my client picked up a knife and handed it to someone. That is refuted by the description of the surveillance video."

Kaplan was referring to New York police Detective Wilfredo Acevedo's testimony that there was video of the robbing and the stabbing and that it did not show the suspect robbing or stabbing Majors.

Acevedo also told the court that the teen insisted during his interrogation that he did not know that his friends were planning to rob Majors.

But Assistant Corporation Counsel Rachel Glantz, acting as prosecutor, told the court that the suspect implicated himself when he admitted to detectives that he and two other teens were in the park to rob somebody.

"He described how they followed a white male but for whatever reason they decided not to rob him," Glantz said. "Then he told detectives that he later picked up a knife and handed it to another individual. It is reasonable to infer that when the knife was picked up that it would be used in the course of a robbery."

Glantz then urged Judge Carol Goldstein to deny Kaplan's request for the teen be released into the custody of his aunt and uncle, who were in the courtroom.

Related: Killing of college freshman Tessa Majors

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Killing of college freshman Tessa Majors
People pause and place a candle at a make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors inside the Barnard campus, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. Majors, a 18-year-old Barnard College freshman from Virginia, was fatally stabbed in a park near the school's campus in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A New York City police department detective use a flashlight to look for evidence in Morningside Park, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Tessa Majors, a 18-year-old Barnard College freshman from Virginia, was fatally stabbed in the park near the school's campus in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A reporter does a standup next to a make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors alongside Morningside Park, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Manhattan's Upper West Side,. Majors, a 18-year-old Barnard College freshman from Virginia, was fatally stabbed in a park near the school's campus in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A woman walks past a make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors inside the Barnard College campus, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. Majors, a 18-year-old Barnard College freshman from Virginia, was fatally stabbed in a park near the school's campus in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A New York City Police Dept. Crime Scene Unit and officers assemble at an entrance to Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Law enforcement officers search Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York City Police Dept. officers work a crime scene in Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Law enforcement officers search Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Police tape cordons off an entrance to Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: A person stands over flowers laid near the entrance of Barnard College on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Eighteen-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors was reportedly stabbed to death nearby in Morningside Park on Wednesday evening during an armed robbery. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: A sign for Barnard College is seen on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Eighteen-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors was reportedly stabbed to death nearby in Morningside Park on Wednesday evening during an armed robbery. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: A sign advertising a reward for information regarding a homicide is posted at the entrance of Morningside Park on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Eighteen-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors was reportedly stabbed to death in the park on Wednesday evening during an armed robbery. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: An NYPD officer patrols the entrance to Morningside Park on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Eighteen-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors was reportedly stabbed to death in the park on Wednesday evening during an armed robbery. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Tessa Majors murder: 13-year-old arrested for stabbing college freshman in New York park
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Goldstein said the suspect was a "threat to public safety" and ordered him to be remanded.

Meanwhile, investigators were still searching for a 14-year-old who was supposed to come in for questioning on Monday but was last seen running from a car in Harlem.

A 14-year-old boy was brought in for questioning over the weekend, but it is unclear whether he is the same teen who fled.

The 13-year-old suspect walked into the courtroom in handcuffs, dressed in sweatpants and a sweater. He has been charged with second-degree murder, robbery and a weapons offense.

Answering a question from Goldstein, the underage suspect told the judge his name but otherwise stayed silent as Glantz and Kaplan made their cases.

Majors, 18, was stabbed to death Wednesday in the park near Barnard College. Police believe the 13-year-old suspect was one of the three teens who were trying to rob Majors.

When one of the teens put Majors in a chokehold and the others began rifling through her pockets, Majors fought back and bit one of the robbers' fingers, police said.

In the ensuing struggle, Majors was stabbed repeatedly in the torso, police said. She was able to stagger out of the park but died at a nearby hospital.

Police have not said why Majors was in the park, but a top police union official sparked a firestorm of criticism Sunday by suggesting on a radio show that she had been there to buy marijuana. The official, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, later apologized and said he had not intended to blame Majors for her own murder.

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