Bronx DA: Bronx Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison In 2017 Stabbing Of Two Students In High School Classroom


Defendant Killed One Classmate and Seriously Injured Another

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the fatal stabbing of his 15-year-old classmate and eight years for the attack on a 16-year-old student inside a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in 2017, the sentences to run concurrently. 

District Attorney Clark said, “A 15-year-old boy was slain, and another youth’s life is forever changed by this defendant’s crime. There was no evidence at trial that Matthew McCree or Ariane Laboy had ever bullied the defendant. His explosion of rage has left so many lives in ruins, including his own. Now he will spend many years in prison. We, as a society, must do everything to prevent violence in our schools.”

District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Abel Cedeno, 20, of 2409 Beaumont Avenue, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and five years post-release supervision for first-degree Manslaughter, eight years in prison and five years post-release supervision for first-degree Assault and 90 days in jail for fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Michael A. Gross. The sentences will run concurrently. The defendant was found guilty on July 15, 2019 after a bench trial that lasted about two weeks.

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 on his way out, became upset after a paper ball or pencil was thrown in his direction. When the defendant asked who had thrown the object, McCree, who was sitting next to Laboy, said he had thrown it, apologized to Cedeno and told him it was not meant to hit him.

Cedeno then challenged McCree to fight, and the victim got up and walked towards him. The defendant stabbed the unarmed McCree with a switchblade, plunging it into his heart about two and a half to three inches deep. When Laboy tried to defend McCree, 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 and Laboy was hospitalized for his 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 the Trial 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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