• Lawrence teen sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for classmate beheading

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    The Lawrence teen found guilty of beheading one of his classmates has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

    In May, Mathew Borges was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino. Prosecutors say Borges cut off the victim's head and hands before throwing his body in the Merrimack River. Paulino's body was discovered two weeks later by a man walking his dog. 

    Borges was 15 years old at the time of the murder.

    Prosecutors say Borges killed his friend over jealousy over a girlfriend. 

    The Essex County District Attorney said this crime is among the worst his office has ever prosecuted. 

    Before sentencing Tuesday, the victim’s mother, Katiuska Paulino, gave an emotional victim impact statement and urged the court to impose the maximum sentence.  “There are no more dreams for the dreamer, the brother, the writer and the poet that was Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino… He has been the soul of this family since he was born,” she said.  “We are the living dead after he was brutally ripped from our side.” 

    On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Borges to life in prison with parole eligibility after 30 years, the maximum sentence allowed for a juvenile under the law. 

    Borges will be sent to MCI-Cedar Junction. He will be eligible for parole when he's 45 years old. The judge told him she hopes for rehabilitation and redemption. 

    >>  Jury deliberates in trial of Lawrence teen accused of beheading classmate

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