NEW YORK. – Dominican student Abel Cedeño, 19, who was convicted Monday for the murder of his schoolmate, African-American Mathew McCree, whom he stabbed in the chest during an altercation between the two, faces up life imprisonment, when sentenced in September of this year.
Abel Cedeño, who refused to go to trial without a jury, was found guilty of all charges by Judge Michael Gross who presided over the trial and found that all evidence showed that he intentionally and unwittingly murdered his partner at the Urban Assembly of Fauna Conservation (Urban Assembly for the Conservation of Fauna), alleging that the victim harassed him frequently and mocked in public of his sexual preference.
Abel Cedeño defense attorneys could not prove at trial that the convict killed him in self-defense.
He was found guilty on first-degree charges of murder and assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a conviction that carries with life imprisonment in accordance with the state laws of the New York court system.
When Cedeño’s lawyer requested bail for his client until the day of the sentence in September, the judge told him that the presumption of innocence no longer applies to Mr. Cedeño, and ordered that he be kept in preventive custody.
“This was a possible and foreseeable result, due to the brutal actions of Cedeño,” the magistrate added.
The teenager nailed a knife to McCree’s chest in September 2017 after the victim and a partner allegedly threw a paper ball or a feather at him and the three engaged in a fight.
Cedeño, who also seriously wounded McCree’s friend, had already dated bisexuals.
“I love you, Daddy!” The mother yelled at Cedeño as he was led in handcuffs to the jail after the verdict.
“I love you, too,” he replied.
Cedeño will be sentenced on September 10 and faces up to 25 years in prison for each of the first two individual charges.
At the trial, Cedeño said he did not remember the real moment when he killed 16-year-old McCree.
He said he just pulled out his knife in the hope that “people would be scared and not come near me,” but that McCree accused him, and he stabbed him in self-defense.
When the judge read his verdict, McCree’s family showed silent joy on one side of the room, while Cedeno’s mother and other relatives cried.
The District Attorney of the Bronx, Darcel Clark said in a statement that in a matter of seconds, the defendant took out his knife and stabbed two students in a classroom full of people.
“The two victims did not know and did not socialize with the accused before the incident,” he said.
“The incident has forever traumatized the school of young students and teachers who saw with horror the violence that took place in the morning,” the prosecutor said in the statement.