Watch CBS News

Opening Statements Start Today In Bronx School Stabbing Trial

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Opening statements started Friday for a teenager accused of stabbing a fellow classmate to death and wounding another.

Louana Dennis, the mother of slain teen Matthew McCree, arrived in court for opening statements in the trial of her son's alleged killer, 19-year-old Abel Cedeno.

Cedeno is accused of fatally stabbing McCree and critically injuring another student, 16-year-old Ariane Laboy, during a fight inside a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in September 2017.

CBS2's Scott Rapoport reports prosecutor Nancy Borko opened by saying Cedeno came to school with a switchblade knife in his pocket, and when the fight started, Borko says, "Abel Cedeno made choices that purposely caused death and injury."

Cedeno's attorneys countered their client was bullied because of his sexuality, claiming "his use of the knife was reasonable" and "his actions were purely defensive."

"Abel was in fear of his life," defense attorney Robert Feldman said.

Web Extra: Attorneys For Teen Accused In Bronx School Stabbing Speak After Opening Statements --


Cedeno pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon charges.

Friday, a guidance counselor from his school, Chavon Evelyn, testified that she saw Cedeno right after the bloody fight.

"I looked at Abel and I said, 'Did you stab somebody?' And he said, 'Yes,'" Evelyn said.

Evelyn says later, Cedeno "started saying, 'I shouldn't have done it. I've gone too far.'"

Graphic pictures showing Laboy and McCree's stab wounds were also shown in court.

It was all too much for McCree's visibly shaken family, who wept quietly outside the courtroom.

"My son was gutted like a fish. My son was ripped like an animal... inside of a classroom," Dennis said.

Attorneys for Cedeno tell CBS2 their client will take the stand and testify in his own defense at the end of the trial.

If convicted, Cedeno faces up to 25 years in prison.

Cedeno has waived his right to a jury trial and will let Judge Michael Gross decide whether he is guilty or not.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.