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Trial Begins for Lawrence Teenager Who Allegedly Beheaded Classmate

Trial Begins for Lawrence Teenager Who Allegedly Beheaded Classmate

Salem, MA– Mathew Borges, a teenager from Lawrence, is charged with killing one of his school classmates back in 2016 when he was only 15 years old. Borges, now age 18, is now being tried as an adult by a jury in Salem Superior Court for allegedly stabbing and beheading his 16-year-old classmate, Lee Viloria-Paulino, when the boys were in their sophomore year at Lawrence High School.

When the 15-year-old Borges was originally brought in for questioning, he stated that he had met up with Viloria-Paulino to smoke marijuana on November 18, 2016, and then parted ways. Viloria-Paulino’s body was found nearly two weeks later. According to CBS Boston, his decapitated body was found on December 1, 2016, “on the banks of the Merrimack River in Lawerence by a dog-walker.”

The trial officially began yesterday morning in Salem Superior Court, where nine women and seven men listened to statements and observed written and recorded evidence. The trial began with the prosecution sharing a text message sent by the alleged killer prior to the murder of Viloria-Paulino in which Borges had talked about killing someone. Commonwealth Attorney James Gubitose described the defendant as "tough on the outside but insecure and jealous on the inside.” Borges allegedly became jealous after seeing his girlfriend talking to Viloria-Paulino at school one day.

Among the evidence in this case is a notebook that both Borges and his girlfriend had written notes in. However, Defense Attorney Edward Hayden argued that the journal entries and notebook scribbles could not be used as evidence in the court, as the information present inside was not 100% accurate and therefore unreliable. In defense of Borges, Hayden said: “There is no murder weapon, there is no tools to dismember a body, there are no fingerprints, there is no blood, there is no DNA.”

Text messages, Facebook conversations, and audio recordings were also presented to the jury. In one text message, Borges talked about murder: "I think of killing someone and I smirk. I like the sound of it. The idea of causing pain on someone who is getting in my way or who is causing me pain…It’s all I think about every day but I control myself." This text message was read by the recipient, who was an acquaintance of both Borges and Viloria-Paulino.

The district attorney for Essex County predicts that Mathew Borges’ trial will be decided within a month.


Image via Wikimedia Commons / Fletcher6