A close family friend says the suspect endured repeated verbal abuse because of "perceived sexual orientation."
An allegedly bullied teen is being charged with stabbing and killing Matthew McCree, 15 (pictured left), and seriously injuring Ariane Laboy, 16, with a switchblade in New York this week.
Abel Cedeno, 18, stabbed the two teenagers on Wednesday at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx.
Although Cedeno has not yet entered a plea, representatives of the family say the young man was harassed and bullied by the victims for many years.
“These students have been calling him ’faggot’ and ’spic,’ said Savannah Hornback. “After it had been reported numerous times and there was no reaction from the school, Abel felt [there was] no other way out.”
The District Attorney adds Cedeno, “admits to purchasing a knife two weeks before online and stabbing two people,” according to reports.
A family friend, Iris Couvertier says she has been in contact with the suspect after his arrest and asserts the bullying was hate-related.
“Those two kids in the class, they hit him. He said that they hit him in the face. He said it’s because he’s gay or bisexual.”
In contradiction to that claim, NYPD detective Robert Boyce said on Wednesday this was Cedeno’s first spat with the victims. “[He] said he had problems before at the start of school, but not with these two individuals. He said he was being harassed, but that is all.”
The defense was allowed a psychological evaluation for the suspect before he returns to court on October 3.