Bullied for Being Gay: Teen’s Defense in High School Killing

Mr. Cedeno, who came out as a gay man after his arrest, took the stand to testify before a grand jury for three hours. In the end the grand jury indicted him on a manslaughter charge rather than a murder charge.

In his opening statement, Mr. Lynn said Mr. Cedeno, who had spent years putting up with bullying, feared for his life on the day of the stabbing.

That day, Mr. Lynn said, several students started throwing debris at Mr. Cedeno in class. He took a trip to the bathroom, but the harassment continued when he returned. Mr. Cedeno then grabbed his backpack and moved toward the door, Mr. Lynn said, but stopped, and yelled, “Who is throwing these things at me and why?”

Mr. McCree and Mr. Laboy moved from the back of the class toward Mr. Cedeno, Mr. Lynn said. Mr. Cedeno, who is left-handed, drew a black-handled knife from his pocket, holding it in his right hand as a warning. Advancing toward him, Mr. McCree pushed a teacher out of the way and attacked Mr. Cedeno, Mr. Lynn said.

Shavon Evelyn, a guidance counselor at the school, testified on Friday that moments after the attack she saw Mr. Cedeno leaving the classroom. She took him to the assistant principal’s office and noticed a closed knife in his hand.

She said she asked him why he had brought the knife to school, and he replied, “‘I don’t know, I guess I thought I was a bad ass.’” He went on to admit to her that he had stabbed two people, Ms. Evelyn said.

Later, she said she overheard him talking on a cellphone. “‘Either I’m going to jail or I’m going to get jumped,’” he told the person on the other end. After he hung up, Mr. Evelyn said she heard him say: “‘I shouldn’t have done it, I went too far. I shouldn’t have done it, I went too far.’”

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