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Bullied gay teen convicted of manslaughter in Bronx school brawl

Bullied gay teen convicted of manslaughter in Bronx school brawl

Abel Cedeno stabbed two of his classmates

Abel Cedeno — a gay teen who used a knife to defend himself from a Bronx classroom attack in 2017 — was found guilty of manslaughter yesterday (16 July).

The teen, who was just 18 at the time, killed one classmate and cut another in a New York City school.

Outside the courtroom, family and friends of Matthew McCree, the 15-year-old killed in the fight, shouted: ‘Justice for Matthew!’

What happened?

Judge Michael Gross, in a bench trial, pronounced Cedeno guilty of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and possession of a weapon.

It is unknown whether courts will grant him youth offender status. This would dramatically cut his sentences — from around five to 25 years per sentence to one and a third to four years each.

When sentences were read, Luz Hernandez, Cedeno’s mother wearing a red sleeveless top with a white neckerchief, collapsed into tears. Court guards escorted her out.

Louna Dennis, the mother of McCree, reportedly said: ‘I am gratified. I finally got justice for my son,’ according to GayCityNews.

Dennis is suing the city and Cedeno for $25 million as is the mother of Ariane LaBoy, who Cedeno slashed.

The evidence of the years of bullying Cedeno claimed – in the form of school records – were not admitted into evidence by the judge. As a result, Cedeno’s self-defense plea was rejected.

Moreover, student witness accounts were not recounted in court either. Many of which corroborated Cedno’s account of the fight.

Cedeno requested authorities send him to the LGBTQ unit at Rikers. The judge agreed to that and also to psychiatric supervision.

‘A tragedy for all families’

Dennis’ attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said he opposed youthful offender status for Cedeno.

Rubenstein told Gay City News: ‘This is a tragedy for all the families that must not be repeated. It is due to the failure of the Department of Education [DOE] to enforce the Dignity for All Students Act [the state anti-bullying law for schools].’

Moreover, Rubenstein said that the principal of the school requested metal detectors but the DOE turned her down.

As the first killing in a New York City school in more than 40 years, tensions were high.

Out gay attorney Tom Shanahan, who is suing the city on behalf of the Cedeno family said: ‘I feel like I am in a Shakespearean tragedy.

‘There are no winners. Ms Dennis lost her son and Abel’s mom has lost her son in some respects, as well.’

What happened in 2017?

It was just typical school day for Cedeno in September 2017.

A student at Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx, the teen allegedly carried an Amazon-bought knife and carried it on his persons for self-defense. He had been bullied since the sixth grade.

He spoke to Gay Star News under a month after the incident. Cedeno said he was ‘trying to get’ his bully off of him, and that he knew his bullies had gang connections.

Despite Cedeno’s attempt to use the knife to ward McCree off, the 15-year-old kept ‘pummeling’ him.

It was when Cedeno was being punched in the face that he ‘snapped’ and began using the knife.

‘I don’t remember that much,’ Cedeno said of the stabbing.

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