NEW YORK — A 14-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with fatally stabbing a first-year Barnard College student two months ago in a Morningside Park mugging gone savagely wrong, police said Saturday.

Rashaun Weaver was charged as an adult with murder and robbery for knifing Tessa Majors during the bungled Dec. 11 robbery, a high-profile slaying that led to an extensive investigation and finally his arrest, authorities said. Weaver was picked up Friday by police in the lobby of the Taft houses on Fifth Avenue in Harlem after dodging detectives for weeks, cops said.

“It’s been a long, difficult process from Dec. 11 when Tessa Majors was murdered, but we are confident that we are delivering a measure of justice in announcing the grand jury indictment and subsequent arrest of one of those involved in the killing,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea in announcing the arrest inside NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza.

Major suffered multiple stab wounds in the 6:50 p.m. robbery, including one that pierced her heart, officials said.

According to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., “substantial DNA evidence” links Weaver to the crime. And a criminal complaint specifically revealed the suspect’s DNA was recovered from the slain teen’s fingernail clippings.

Authorities also revealed the last words shouted by Majors, 18, a freshman student from Virginia: “Help me! I am being robbed!”

The suspect was held overnight before his Saturday arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The investigation is continuing and more arrests are possible, according to Vance. The criminal complaint noted that three individuals were spotted on the park staircase where Majors was stabbed to death, and only two are in custody.

Vance said investigators took their time in tracking down the suspect in the killing.

“This arrest is a major milestone on the path of justice for Tessa Majors,” said Vance. “The journey to reach that milestone today was not a sprint, but rather a painstaking and meticulous search for the truth. We determined that on day one that whatever the opposite of a rush to judgment is, that is how this investigation will proceed.”

The prosecutor said Weaver was arrested after investigators linked him to the stabbing through video evidence, witness identification, blood evidence, smartphone records and the defendant’s own statements.

“It paints a gruesome picture of what this young woman went through in her final moments,” said Vance. Security video showed the dying student struggling on a staircase landing with the three assailants, then slowly staggering up the steps after breaking free.

“Gimme your phone,” one of the assailants told Majors. “You got some weed? Gimme that too.”

A 13-year-old boy was taken into custody one day after the killing, and faces murder, robbery and weapon possession charges. He is being held at a juvenile detention facility and will be prosecuted in Family Court.

On the night of the slaying, Weaver was wearing the same navy jacket with a horizontal white stripe and a red stripe across the chest as he wore four days earlier during a knifepoint robbery of a man inside Morningside Park, authorities said.

Weaver, who made off with an Apple iPhone XR, used his personal log-on to access the stolen device about 4 1/2 hours after the holdup, officials said.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said Weaver made no attempt to escape when taken into custody as family members watched. The teen suspect had earlier ducked police, hiding in “numerous locations, including the Bronx” as cops sought to bring him in, said Harrison.

Weaver is due for a court appearance on Wednesday.


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