Bronx school stabber’s lawyer pushes blame onto victims, says they viewed him as a ‘sissy’ easy target
“He was pummeled before he took any action,” attorney Robert Feldman said of his client, Abdel Cedeno, 18.
“They ran up to him, thinking that Abel Cedeno was too much of a sissy, too effeminate, too much of an openly-gay kid to do anything.
“Well, guess what?” Feldman added. “They were wrong.”
Feldman offered the stirring defense after a glassy-eyed Cedeno pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges.
The Bronx courtroom was packed with Cedeno’s supporters, along with friends and relatives of victim Matthew McCree, 15, who shot daggers at the suspect.
Cedeno’s lawyers told the judge that the bisexual teen was relentlessly bullied and attacked by gang members — and routinely ignored by teachers who failed to protect him.
Fatal stabbing at Bronx school
“This incident occurred not because of some disease and defect of Mr. Cedeno,” defense lawyer Christopher Lynn told the judge. “But some disease and defect in that school.”
Prosecutors say Cedeno stabbed McCree and a second teen, Ariane Laboy, in front of a class full of horrified students and two teachers at the Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation.
Laboy survived the Sept. 27 attack.
The bisexual Cedeno has claimed that he “snapped” after enduring months of anti-gay slurs and other abuse from classmates.
Cops have said he had no history with the slain McCree.
Outside the courthouse, McCree’s mother Louna Dennis was joined by dozens of supporters holding signs that read, “Justice for Matthew.”
“Looking at Abel Cedeno for the first time since he killed my son, I was angry. I was pissed,” said Dennis, 34. “Cause he has his life. He lived past 15.”
“Cedeno’s parents can go visit him on his birthday,” she added.
“You know where I gotta go to visit my son? The cemetery … after my son was in his classroom, where I sent him, where he should have been saved, protected, and he was not.”
The grieving mother insisted that she raised a “damn good son” who never bullied Cedeno. And she and her lawyer Sanford Rubenstein called for the firing of Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
“Certainly the problems at this school not only existed at the time of this wrongful killing, but also exist to this day,” Sanford Rubenstein said.
The Education Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
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