Family members are expected to testify Tuesday in the trial of a Massachusetts teenager accused of beheading a classmate over jealousy.
Prosecutors said on Monday that the murder of 16-year-old Lawrence High School student, Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, was fueled by jealousy. They said 18-year-old Mathew Borges would get angry with his classmate when his then-girlfriend would speak to the victim.
The defendant’s ex-girlfriend testified and supported what prosecutors said.
“He yelled at me about me being friendly with Lee because we were making jokes with each other, but he thought we were flirting,” Leilany DeJesus said in court.
She said Borges eventually broke up with her because he thought she was cheating on him with other people. She said he had a list of names that included Viloria-Paulino.
Viloria-Paulino’s headless body was discovered by a man walking his dog along the banks of the Merrimack River on Dec. 1, 2016. Prosecutors said the victim’s hands had also been cut off and that his head was found nearby in a bag weighted down with rocks.
The victim was last seen alive on Nov. 18, 2016. The boy’s family said police never took the case seriously after they reported the victim missing two weeks before his decapitated body was found.
Prosecutors said surveillance video shows Borges walking toward the river with the victim on the night of his death. A short time later, four people were seen breaking into Viloria-Paulino’s home. Prosecutors said those people are friends of Borges who later told investigators he had admitted to killing Viloria-Paulino.
Prosecutors read from a journal entry written by Borges that they said outlines the crime. “Go chill with him in his crib alone… bring duffel bag, wear bags on shoes, wear clothes you don’t care about.”
The defense, however, argued Monday that Borges is only guilty of being involved in the break-in and nothing more. They said there is no evidence he killed Viloria-Paulino.
The defense also said prosecutors are trying to escalate Borges’ jealousy to murder. They also said he was in the early stages of dating a new girl.
Borges was 15 years old at the time of the killing, according to authorities. He is now being tried as an adult. He was ordered held without bail during a hearing on March 2017.
This post was originally posted at http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Family-of-Teenager-Accused-of-Beheading-Classmate-to-Testify-Lawrence-509257751.html.