The student accused of stabbing two of his classmates, killing one, in a Bronx school last week will testify in front of a grand jury, his attorney said during a hearing in Bronx Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Abel Cedeno, 18, is accused of fatally stabbing Matthew McCree, 15, and critically injuring Ariane Laboy, 16. He was charged with several offenses, including second-degree murder and manslaughter, and held without bail. He pleaded not guilty.
Cedeno’s attorney, Deborah Rush, waived his appearance in the courtroom on Tuesday. His next appearance is scheduled for Oct. 17.
Cedeno allegedly said he attacked the two teens in a history class at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Sept. 27 after they threw papers and pencils at him.
A representative for The Legal Aid Society said Cedeno was bullied at the school. “We are currently meeting with our client and his family and reviewing the facts and circumstances of this case, including the long history of bullying and intimidation Abel has endured,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement last week.
But Cedeno admitted that the two teens he stabbed had not directly bullied him and instead he had been tormented by others in the last several weeks, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the day after the incident.
McCree’s family has insisted the slain teen was never a bully. His mother, Louna Dennis, said she plans to be at all of Cedeno’s court appearances.
“I have to see him eventually,” she said. Several supporters stood around her, some in tears, wearing shirts with McCree’s photo and chanting “justice for Matthew.”
The school itself was an unsafe environment, McCree’s family said. According to reports, a custodian found another knife inside the same classroom after the scene had been secured.
“The mayor has had a press conference trying to tell the public that everything is OK. Well, everything is not OK, and the fact that I have a mother standing with me right here who lost her son to violence in the schools demonstrates that,” said Sanford Rubenstein, an attorney who is representing McCree’s family.
“Certainly the second knife demonstrates the fact that there’s a serious problem with weapons in classrooms, in the public school system, in this city and there should have been metal detectors at this school before this young man was killed,” Rubenstein added.
Dennis said she was “not surprised” to hear of a second knife. She added that she had been in touch with the family of the other injured teen, Laboy, and he was out of the hospital and “pulling through.”