NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Closing arguments wrapped up Friday in the trial of a Bronx teenager accused of stabbing one classmate to death and wounding another.
Prosecutors say Abel Cedeno, 19, killed 15-year-old Matthew McCree and injured 16-year-old Ariane Laboy at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation back in September 2017. Laboy ended up in a coma.
Cedeno says he was acting in self-defense after being bullied because he’s gay.
Cedeno’s defense maintained Friday he was just defending himself from imminent deadly force – namely being punched in his face – and had previously been the victim of years of bullying.
Prosecutors claimed he came to school with a knife and was “set on creating a scenario to use it” and wanted to show he was tough. The prosecution said past incidents of bullying had nothing to do with anyone in the class that day.
“Hearing the DA sum everything up in one nutshell, it was so overwhelming for me that it just put me right back,” said Louna Dennis, McCree’s mother.
The judge said he expects to announce the verdict in the non-jury trial Monday at 3:30 p.m.
If convicted, Cedeno faces up to 25 years in prison.
On Thursday, Cedeno took the stand.
“You’re gay, you shouldn’t be gay,” he testified on Thursday. “It was psychological abuse for being gay.”
During his testimony, Cedeno said the bullying got physical on the day of the attack.
“I began getting hit in the back of the head with broken pencils, pen caps and bunched up paper,” he said. “Matthew punched me on the cheek two or three times.”
Cedeno admitted he pulled a knife from his pocket, but said it “was only meant to scare people away.” When asked if he remembered stabbing McCree and Laboy, he said “not specifically the times when the blade went inside them.”