El Chapo’s high-powered attorney Jeffrey Lichtman is representing pro bono a teen charged in the fatal stabbing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, it was revealed in court Tuesday.
The parents of Rashaun Weaver, 15, met with Lichtman a few months ago, and the lawyer agreed to defend their son for free, the attorney said.
Lichtman — whose most famous client is convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — said he was deeply moved by Weaver’s case.
“I’ve got two boys Rashaun’s age, and it’s physically sickening to me to see a boy the age of my kids facing life in prison,” said Lichtman, who appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday alongside Weaver and his co-defendant Luciano Lewis, whom Lichtman doesn’t represent.
The attorney’s twin sons, who just turned 16, watched the proceeding from the gallery. “I’m working with my kids on the case,” explained Lichtman, whose team recently appealed El Chapo’s conviction and life sentence for running a massive, drug trafficking empire. “I felt it was important that they see what the system is like even for children their age.”
During the hearing, attended by Weaver’s parents, Lichtman asked the court officers to remove the defendants’ handcuffs and they agreed.
“When El Chapo came into court, he wasn’t at the defense table wearing handcuffs,” he said. “The contrast hit me pretty hard. This is still a boy, a boy whose voice hasn’t changed yet.”
Prosecutors allege that Weaver and Lewis, who were 14 at the time, and Zyairr Davis, then 13, tried to mug Majors in Morningside Park Dec. 11.
After she yelled for help, Lewis allegedly held Majors, 18, in a headlock while Weaver fatally stabbed her, sending the feathers of her down coat flying into the air. She suffered multiple stab wounds to her torso — and one pierced her heart, according to court papers.
In a videotaped confession, Davis told authorities that the trio had gone to the park that night looking to rob someone and spotted the college freshman from Charlottesville, Virginia.
Davis, who was tried as a juvenile, copped to one count of first-degree robbery in June and was sentenced to 18 months in detention. Weaver and Lewis — who face murder and robbery charges — are being tried as adults.
Majors was an aspiring journalist and accomplished bass player — and the daughter of an English professor at James Madison University.