THE BRONX, New York — The mother of 18-year-old Abel Cedeno, the teen accused of stabbing a classmate to death at a Bronx high school, spoke out Wednesday as her son appeared in court for the first time.
"We've been praying, praying a lot, going to church and trying to get this little by little," Luz Hernandez said.
Her son allegedly brought a 3-inch switchblade and fatally slashed and stabbed Matthew McCree, 15, and inflicted multiple slash wounds to Ariane Laboy, 16, in a classroom inside the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Sept. 27, according to police.
He was indicted Wednesday for first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the Bronx district attorney said.
"The defendant allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed one youth to death and critically injured another in front of dozens of students who remain traumatized. Young lives were shattered in a place where bright futures are supposed to begin," Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said in a statement.
The school building, which houses more than 1,100 students from pre-K to high school, did not have metal detectors prior to the stabbing. They were installed the day after the attack.
Cedeno said the two students were picking on him and that he had been repeatedly bullied at school for his sexual orientation. As he was led out of a police precinct in handcuffs the morning after the stabbing, Cedeno told PIX11 News he couldn't take being bullied anymore.
The teen suspect's mother said bullying had been a problem for her son.
"I tried to get so many times to school and get some help, and they ignored us. 'Be a better person,’ that’s what they say to my son," Hernandez said.
McCree’s mother, Louna Dennis, maintains that her slain son was not a bully.
"He's loving, kind, compassionate. My son loves everyone," she told PIX11 in October.
She saw her son's alleged killer for the first time face-to-face Wednesday. Cedeno had waived his earlier court appearances.
Cedeno is being held on $500,000 bail and is due back in court on Nov. 29.