Bronx DA: Bronx Teen Found Guilty Of Manslaughter, Assault in Stabbing Of Students in High School Classroom


Defendant Killed 15-Year-Old Matthew McCree, Critically Wounded Ariane Laboy

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx teen has been found guilty of the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old boy and the attack on another student in a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. 

District Attorney Clark said, “In a matter of seconds, the defendant took out his knife and stabbed two students in front of a crowded classroom, killing 15-year-old Matthew McCree and critically wounding Ariane Laboy, then 16. The incident has forever traumatized the young students and school faculty who watched in horror the violence that unfolded that morning. It is truly a tragedy; a young life was taken, and so many other lives—including the defendant’s—are irreparably damaged.”

District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Abel Cedeno, 19, of 2409 Beaumont Avenue, wasfound guilty of first-degree Manslaughter, first-degree Assault and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Michael A. Gross after a bench trial that lasted about two weeks. The defendant faces up to 5-25 years in prison on each of the Manslaughter and Assault charges and will be sentenced on September 10, 2019.

According to trial testimony, on September 27, 2017, the defendant and the victims, Matthew McCree, 15, and Ariane Laboy, 16, were in their U.S. History class with other students and teachers when a dispute began between the defendant and the victims. Cedeno, who was in the doorway of the classroom, about to leave, became upset after a paper ball or pencil was thrown in his direction. He angrily asked who had thrown it. McCree, who was sitting in the row with Laboy, said he had thrown it, apologized and said the object was not meant to hit the defendant.

According to trial testimony, Cedeno then challenged McCree to fight, and the victim got up and walked towards him. Cedeno, who was armed with a switchblade, stabbed the unarmed McCree in the chest, plunging it into his heartabout two and a half tothree inches deep. After McCree clutched his chest, Laboy, who was close friends with McCree, approached Cedeno to defend his friend. The defendant stabbed Laboy, who was unarmed, five times, including twice in the chest. The victims were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital where McCree was pronounced dead on arrival. Laboy was treated for his wounds and was left with life-altering injuries.

Laboy and McCree did not know and did not socialize with the defendant prior to the incident.

The case was prosecuted by Nancy Borko, Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Paul Andersen, of the Appeals Bureau, under the supervision of Christine Scaccia, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and the overall supervision of James Brennan, Deputy Chief of theTrial Division, and Theresa Gottlieb, Chief of the Trial Division. District Attorney Clark thanked BXDA Detective Investigator Wilfredo Melendez and Homicide Bureau Clerical Associate Beryl Wright for their assistance.

District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Detectives Sean O’Donnell of the 48th Precinct Squad and Anthony Velez of the Bronx Homicide Squad for their hard work on the investigation.

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