A teenager being tried for manslaughter in the Bronx for the fatal stabbing of his 15-year-old classmate today testified that he had been bullied for years because of his sexuality.
Abel Cedeno, 19, took the stand on Thursday and told Justice Michael Gross, who presides over his non-lawyer trial, that on the day of the deadly confrontation in the now closed Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in September 2017, he was several times slapped in the face.
Cedeno, who wears blue and purple hair, and a heart-shaped rainbow pin on his lapel, said he produced a switchblade in history class to defend himself against his tormentors.
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Abel Cedeno, 19, stated on Thursday that he had been bullied for years for staking his classmates in September 2017 (to be seen in court on Thursday)
Cedeno is on trial for 15-year-old fight Matthew McCree (left). The boy's mother, Louna Dennis, was in court to hear Cedeno's testimony
His defenders maintain that their client acts in self-defense after being bullied for his homosexuality when he killed Matthew McCree and seriously injured 16-year-old Ariane LaBoy after the latter tried to intervene, CBS New York reported.
Cedeno has also been accused of seriously injuring 16-year-old Ariane LaBoy (photo)
The trial, which was currently taking place in the second week, was a testimony from students and teachers who witnessed the deadly attack and from a doctor examining the victim.
Dr. John Hayes, from the Chief Medical Examiner's office, described McCree's chest wound on Monday as & # 39; gaping and complex & # 39 ;, reported New 12 The Bronx.
He told the court that Cedeno & # 39; s blade pierced the teen's heart about ten centimeters deep and one of his lungs collapsed.
Jury members also heard a graphic testimony from Matthew Lawlor, who was a dean at the school at the time of the stabbing.
& # 39; In the distance I saw blood pouring out of the classroom … the blood flew out of his chest and he collapsed. & # 39;
Last week, a friend of McCree, 17-year-old Tyler Lilavois, testified that Cedeno was the aggressor and challenged his classmates to a fight after being hit with a paper ball.
Part of the September 27, 2017, melee at the now closed Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation was recorded on video. McCree is depicted in white, right?
A doctor testified that the Cedeno switch (photo) went up to 3 inches deep in McCree & # 39; s heart
Lilavois said McCree had known to throw the ball and apologized to Cedeno, but he challenged the 15-year-old to a fight after calling his classmates' soldiers, according to New York Daily News.
Another witness, Aanaiya Santiago, 17, reported a similar version of events in her testimony at the start of the trial New York Post.
She quoted Cedeno by telling McCree to pull up & # 39; which is a proverb to start a fight.
Cedeno told ABC New York in December 2017 that he initially tried to run away on 27 September 2017, when his classmates did not want to bully him.
& # 39; I was at the entrance of the class, & # 39; he said to the exhaust. & # 39; And they kept throwing things. The class was very noisy and loud and everything.
& # 39; I just snarled. I started screaming and screaming. & # 39;
Cedeno also said he was bullied since high school when he started to struggle with being gay.
He said classmates told him & # 39; derogatory & # 39; mentioned words and mocked at his flamboyant nature – he said he should be gay because he grew out of his hair and had a high voice & # 39 ;.
Cedeno (depicted in court on July 1) is 25 years in jail if he is convicted of death penalty of first degree
Cedeno also said that the years of bullying led him to commit suicide the day before the attack.
& # 39; I tried to overdose some pills, but I woke up the next day, & # 39; he explained.
& # 39; I didn't want to be surrounded by those children. When I went to school, I felt trapped. As if I was put in a cage with a whole bunch of animals. & # 39;
His family is challenging the public school system in New York City, blaming that more could have been done to prevent the alleged bullying and incidents.
McCree & # 39; s mother has strongly denied that her son was a bully.
Cedeno is 25 years in jail if he is convicted for manslaughter of first degree.
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