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Student Accused of Decapitating Schoolmate

Mathew Borges' trial begins in Massachusetts
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2019 5:30 PM CDT
Mathew Borges, 15, attends his arraignment in Lawrence District Court in Lawrence, Mass, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.   (Paul Bilodeau/The Eagle-Tribune via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – A murder trial began Monday for a Massachusetts teen accused of cutting off a schoolmate's head in a jealous rage, the Boston Herald reports. In his opening statement, a prosecutor said Mathew Borges, then 15, decapitated 16-year-old Manuel Viloria-Paulino in November 2016 after accusing him of sleeping with Borges' girlfriend. "The defendant was tough on the outside but insecure on the inside," said Assistant District Attorney Jay Gubitose in Essex County Superior Court. "He was jealous" after seeing the girl with the popular Viloria-Paulino at school and "started screaming at her." Borges has admitted to smoking pot with Viloria-Paulino that day on the Lawrence riverfront—the same area where the victim's body was later discovered—but insists he didn't commit murder.

Defense attorney Edward Hayden notes the lack of physical evidence—no tools, weapons, or DNA link Borges to the crime—and adds that "witnesses who are going to say he committed murder are not reliable." Yet prosecutors say Borges did send his ex a text 24 hours after the murder saying, "The next time you see me, look at my eyes because that's the last time they'll be like that. They'll be dead." And a Lawrence police detective testified that Borges was caught lying about cuts on his hands and changed his story, per CBS Boston. Seems there's also a Borges journal in which the last entry says he needs to "kill him." What's more, nearby surveillance video apparently shows four people robbing the victim's house soon after, and Borges doesn't deny stealing from the victim.

(Read more murder trial stories.)

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