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A teenager who is being tried for manslaughter in the Bronx for the fatal stabbing of his 15-year-old classmate testified today that he had been bullied for years because of his sexuality.
Abel Cedeno, 19, took the witness stand on Thursday, telling Justice Michael Gross, who is presiding over his non-jury trial, that on the day of the deadly confrontation at the now-closed Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in September 2017, he was punched in the face multiple times.
Cedeno - Hair - Rainbow - Pin - Lapel
Cedeno, sporting 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.
His defense attorneys maintain their client was acting in self-defense after being bullied for his homosexuality when he stabbed to death Matthew McCree and severely wounded 16-year-old Ariane LaBoy, after the latter tried to intervene, CBS New York reported.
Trial - Week - Testimony - Students - Teachers
The trial, currently in its second week, saw testimony from students and teachers who witnessed the deadly attack, and from a doctor who examined the victim.
Dr John Hayes, from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, on Monday described McCree's chest wound as 'gaping and complex,' reported New 12 The Bronx.
Court - Cedeno - Blade - Teenager - Heart
He told the court that Cedeno's blade pierced the teenager's heart about 3 inches deep and caused one of his lungs to collapse.
Jurors also heard graphic testimony from Matthew Lawlor, who was a dean at the school at the time of the stabbing.
Distance - Blood - Classroom - Chest - Blood
'In the distance I saw blood rolling out of the classroom... from his chest, the blood was projecting out and he collapsed.'
Last week, a friend of McCree, 17-year-old Tyler Lilavois, testified that Cedeno was the aggressor and was challenging his classmates to a fight after being hit with a paper ball.
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