Accused school killer skips court hearing

Tuesday should have been the day Louna Dennis looked her son’s accused killer in the eye, but 18 year-old Abel Cedeno waived his court appearance. That didn’t stop family and friends from gathering outside the Bronx courthouse. Many wore t-shirts decorated with picture of 15 year-old Matthew McCree. Dennis vowed to show up at every single court hearing until Cedeno is sentenced. “I need to look in his face, I need to see this kid, I need to see the person that took my son’s life,” she said.

It was 30 minutes into his third period class last Wednesday when investigators say Cedeno snapped. The 18 year-old lashed out on classmates with a 3 inch blade, fatally stabbing McCree and severely hurting 16 year old Ariane LaBoy. Cedeno has made claims that the act was in response to bullying. Investigators say while he was in fact bullied by other students in the school, this is the first known incident between these three students. Metal detectors were installed at Urban Assembly for Wildlife Conservation the day after the tragedy.

The family’s attorney Sanford Rubenstein says this case goes far beyond the courtroom. He took time to address three key issues in New York City schools: metal detectors, classroom supervision and bullying. “There’s a serious problem with weapons in the public school system in the city,  and there should have been metal detectors at this school before this young man was killed,” said Rubenstein.

Cedeno is due back in court in two weeks.