A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with the death of a New York university student, the authorities said on Saturday, in a case that is closely monitored due to his race dynamics.
Tessa Majors, 18, a freshman at Barnard College, was attacked by three teenagers on December 11 when she walked through Morningside Park.
The park separates the renowned Barnard College and Columbia University from Harlem, the predominantly black district in northwest Manhattan.
Majors, who was white, was found just outside the park and was bleeding profusely, the criminal charges said. She had been stabbed in the chest several times and died in a hospital.
Rashaun Weaver, 14, who is black, was accused of stabbing majors. He was searched for several weeks and arrested without incident on Friday evening.
Weaver is brought to trial as an adult for second degree murder and robbery, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
"We are confident that we have the person who stabbed them in custody and that person will be brought to justice," New York City chief Dermot Shea said at a press conference.
Vance said the investigators had video and DNA evidence and suggested the suspect had an audio recording.
A 13-year-old alleged accomplice has also been charged, but is brought before a juvenile court.
The events are reminiscent of the "Central Park Five" case in 1989, when five black and Hispanic youths were wrongly sentenced and sentenced to prison in the famous park for rape and assault by a white jogger.
Vance suggested that the sensitivity of the recent case partially contributed to delaying the Weaver charges.
"We are dealing with a 14-year-old and will take great care to protect all the rights he has if we continue to pursue this case," he said.
"I want the New Yorkers to know that we are committing ourselves to fairness again today because only a fair trial will lead to true justice for Tessa Majors."
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