Cedeno to take stand in his own defense in fatal school stabbing trial

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THE BRONX -

Opening arguments are set to begin Friday in the trial against a teen accused of stabbing his classmate to death inside a classroom.

Abel Cedeno, 19, was in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing. He will be taking the stand in his defense when the trial begins.

Abel Cedeno is accused of fatally stabbing 15-year-old Matthew McRee and injuring another student, Ariane Laboy, during a fight inside a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in September 2017.

He was charged with manslaughter and assault and would have to serve sentences, if convicted on those charges, separately.  He could face up to 50 years in prison.

Cedeno and his lawyers say he was the victim of bullying for years.

Several witnesses are scheduled to testify, including police officers who responded to the stabbing scene and students who were in the classroom during the incident.

It’s not yet clear if the judge will allow a 90-minute police interview with Cedeno as evidence.

The trial will be decided by Honorable Michael Gross. It is expected to last for two weeks.

RELATED STORIES: 
Judge considers confession video evidence in 2017 fatal school stabbing 
School stabbing victim's family says video shows suspect is to blame 
Special prosecutor request denied in case of fatal stabbing in Bronx classroom 

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