Teen who stabbed classmate over anti-gay bullying guilty of manslaughter
Abel Cedeno, who stabbed a classmate in retaliation to homophobic bullying, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Cedeno was found guilty of manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon at Bronx Supreme Court on Monday (July 15).
The teen fatally stabbed 15-year-old Matthew McCree during a fight at their high school, the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, in 2017.
In addition to the fatal stabbing of McCree, Cedeno seriously a second classmate, Ariane Laboy.
Manslaughter charge for teen who stabbed classmates
Now 19, Cedeno claimed the stabbings were an act of self-defence, and followed years of homophobic bullying.
Cedeno’s lawyers told the court that he had suffered from years of severe homophobic bullying at school prior to the incident.
#Happening Abel Cedeno accused of stabbing & killing classmate Matthew McCree learns his fate this afternoon. Cedeno claims he was being bullied at his Bronx school and acted in self-defense. Judge will render a verdict. If convicted Cedeno could face 5 to 25 years in jail. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/luWZ0U8THA
— Dean Meminger (@DeanMeminger) July 15, 2019
The teen, who is bisexual, testified that he had brought a knife to school to “scare people away,” but a fight began in class when he was pelted with pencils and balls of paper.
However, other classmates challenged his version of events, and claimed he was the perpetrator of the altercation that led to the stabbing.
Cedeno, who will be sentenced in September, could face up to 25 years in prison on the manslaughter charges.
Bisexual teen says he suffered years of homophobic bullying
His cause has attracted some support online, with a ‘JusticeForAbel’ group set up in support of him.
The group claims that Cedeno was “tormented, tortured, spit on, name called, harassed, punched, shoved, and abused in every other way,” but that officials failed to stop the bullying.
A statement says: “Abel Cedeno was just another teen boy trying to get through his personal trials and tribulations and school.
“Bullied since the sixth grade, he still kept a smile on his face and loved to make people laugh.
“He was a funny, loving, and kind hearted teen boy who was bullied for being flamboyant and bisexual. Being who he was made him a target.
“Abel is every other teen boy not only in the LGBTQ community but in every community, that struggle to accept themselves in a world that isn’t very accepting of others being ‘different.'”
A petition urges the judge to grant Cedeno youthful offender status “that allows Abel, when he finishes his sentence of state jail, to live his life without the stigma of convicted violent offender to follow him forever.”