A cop testified Wednesday that a Bronx classroom “looked like a scene out of a massacre” after an allegedly bullied teen fatally plunged a switchblade into another student’s chest.
“There was blood all over the place, on the floor, on the walls,” Officer Oliva Carvajal said in Bronx Supreme Court at the bench trial of Abel Cedeno, now 19, who faces manslaughter charges in the 2017 stabbing death of Matthew McCree.
“There were staff that were crying. McCree was bleeding very profusely,” Carvajal said.
Cedeno is accused of killing McCree, 15, and slashing fellow classmate Ariane LaBoy, then 16, but has claimed self-defense, saying he snapped after years of homophobic bullying at the now-shuttered Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in East Tremont.
His lawyers have crafted their defense as a battle for gay rights, saying their client — who came out as bisexual in the wake of the Sept. 27, 2017, stabbing— feared for his life on the morning of the attack and brought an illegal switchblade to class for “protection.”
But prosecutors say Cedeno walked into class with a chip on his shoulder and was looking for an opportunity to use the knife.
Testimony from students in the classroom claimed Cedeno was acting aggressively before the brutal slashing — and Tuesday, LaBoy told the court he barely knew his attacker.
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LaBoy, now 18, broke down on the stand as he recalled how Cedeno severely injured him as he jumped in to try to help McCree, who was eventually stabbed to death after Cedeno flipped out on them during history class.
“Abel walked into class [and] sat down in front of me. He bumped my desk, and I ignored it,” LaBoy said.
When the victims later tossed a paper ball that landed near Cedeno, all hell broke loose.
The victims claimed they didn’t mean to throw it toward Cedeno, but that didn’t stop him from going into a fatal meltdown, LaBoy said.
“I looked down, and there was a hole in my chest. I lost my breath,” LaBoy testified. “When [Cedeno] saw me look up, he stabbed me in the same spot in the chest.”
Cedeno — who has waived his right to a jury and put his fate in the hands of Justice Michael Gross — is expected to testify next week.