• Packed courtroom for beginning of teen beheading trial

    By: Chris Flanagan

    Updated:

    SALEM, Mass. - Matthew Borges -- wearing a tie and white shirt -- sat expressionless as his first-degree murder trial got underway in Salem Superior Court Monday. 

    Borges is charged with killing his Lawrence High School classmate, 16-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, in November 2016 because of jealousy over a girl.

    Prosecutors say Borges -- who was 15 at the time -- decapitated Viloria-Paulino and dumped his body in the Merrimack River.

    They say police later found a journal in Borges' home that implicated him in the crime.

    "Bring duffel bag, wear gloves, clean up mess, wear bags on shoes, wear clothes you don’t care about," Prosecutor Jay Gubitose said, reading from the journal in court. 

    Friends and family of the defendant packed the courtroom, even sitting in the front row just feet from Borges. 

    A friend of the victim's family is convinced Borges didn't act alone.

    "Yeah, if you use your mind, one person, that guy -- only a little kid -- don’t do something like that alone. Somebody else have to be involved," Alberto Gonzalez said outside court. 

    In court, prosecutors allege Borges and some friends initially went to Viloria-Paulino's home and robbed it of video games and clothing.

    They say sometime later on, Borges murdered his classmate and cut off his head and hands. They say nearly two weeks later, a state trooper discovered a bag with the victim's head in it,  weighted-down, in the Merrimack River.

    Borges' defense attorney says his client is guilty of the break-in, but not murder.

    "There is no evidence that Matthew killed Lee. None," defense attorney Edward Hayden said. 

    Borges' defense team claims the victim was killed by members of a violent gang and not their client.

    Trial to begin for Lawrence teen accused of beheading classmate

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