Cedeno takes the stand, describes details of fatal classroom stabbing

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THE BRONX -

Abel Cedeno, a Bronx teenager accused of killing a classmate in September 2017, testified in his own defense Thursday for two hours.

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

Cedeno said that he was target of emotional and physical abuse by school bullies. Cedeno claims that on the day of the stabbing, a group of boys in the back of the class were throwing paper balls, erasers and broken pencils at the back of his head.

He testified that after angrily confronting them, McCree stood up and started to approach him in an aggressive manner. Cedeno claims McCree punched him twice in the face.

Cedeno claims he was defending himself. He also said that both McCree and Laboy openly bragged about being gang members.

During cross-examination, Cedeno said he never had any physical altercation with the two boys before and that he didn't really know any of the kids in the class. He also admitted to buying a bow and arrow prior to the stabbing and practicing with the knife at home.

When the prosecutor asked about the stabbing, Cedeno testified that he didn't remember it. He says he was waving his arms with the knife for protection.

The victim's family says Cedeno's own words show he was not a victim.

Closing statements are expected to begin Friday.

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