Massachusetts teenager who beheaded classmate and chopped off his hands convicted of murder

Massachusetts teenager who beheaded classmate and chopped off his hands convicted of murder

A Massachusetts teenager Mathew Borges was found guilty of murder on Tuesday, May 14. He was convicted in the gruesome killing, mutilation, and beheading of his classmate Lee Manuel Villoria-Paulino.

The 18-year-old was found guilty of first-degree murder for the 2016 killing of then-16-year-old Lee Manuel Villoria-Paulino, a jury found. At the time of the murder, Borges was 15 years old. The Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett shared in a statement, "Nothing can bring Lee Paulino back to his family, who obviously love and miss him very much." 

"It is my hope that this verdict gives them some comfort and peace," Blodgett continued.

We had earlier reported that Paulino's body was found on the banks of the Merrimack River in December 2016. The body was decapitated and was missing both hands. According to the Essex District Attorney's office, since Borges was still a minor when he murdered Paulino, he faced a life sentence without parole. Borges has been scheduled to be sentenced on July 9. 


Mathew Borges (Source: Lawrence Police)

In his closing arguments on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Jay Gubitose shared that Borges had a motive and an opportunity to kill Paulino. Gubitose said, "He had this fascination, some sort of obsession, with killing someone." He had earlier revealed a text message which Borges had allegedly sent to a female friend during the opening statements of the trial. 

The text message read: "I think of killing someone and I smirk. It’s all I think about every day but I control myself... I like the sound of it — the idea of causing pain in someone getting in my way or causing me pain."

The prosecution shared that Borges was jealous as Paulino had spent some time talking to his girlfriend. They added that Borges had distracted Paulino to get him out of his house while Borges' friends robbed his house, and then murdered him. CNN affiliate WCVB reported that the medical examiners had found around 76 wounds on Paulino's body but could not determine whether the beheading took place before or after his death.



The prosecutors also said that Borges had told some other teens who were interviewed by authorities later: "I killed him. He’s dead." The teen was allegedly seen on surveillance footage walking toward the river along with Viloria-Paulino on the night of the gruesome murder.

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