LAWRENCE, Mass. -- A Massachusetts teen has been indicted in the murder of a classmate found beheaded, reports the Eagle-Tribune.
Mathew Borges, 16, is reportedly being tried as an adult in the murder of 16-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, whose headless body was found by a woman walking her dog Dec. 1, partially submerged along a Lawrence riverbank.
His head was found a short distance away. His arms were also cut off, the Boston Herald reports, and his body mutilated so badly the autopsy took 11 hours to complete.
Viloria-Paulino’s family reported him missing Nov. 18 and has criticized the police department, saying that officers at first thought he was a runaway and didn’t take the case seriously enough. Lawrence Police have disputed that, calling their search “relentless.”
Viloria-Paulino and Borges both attended Lawrence High School. A police report said the pair smoked marijuana together the day Viloria-Paulino went missing. Police have not offered a motive in the slaying.
Borges has pleaded not guilty, but in court documents, a witness told police that the suspect confessed he “did something bad.” The witness said the teen admitted “he stabbed a kid and cut his head off ... motioning with his hands as if he was stabbing someone and cutting someone’s head off,” according to a police report.
The indictment on a first-degree murder charge handed up by an Essex County grand jury Monday alleges Borges “did assault and beat Lee Manuel Paulino with intent to murder him, and by such assault and beating did kill and and murder Lee Manuel Paulino,” according to the Eagle-Tribune.
The indictment means Borges’ case will be transferred from Lawrence District Court to Salem Superior Court, the paper reports. An arraignment is set for March 31.