SALEM, MASS. (WHDH) - Jurors weighing the murder trial of a teenager accused of decapitating his Lawrence High School classmate in 2016 heard text messages the suspect allegedly sent to a girl he liked prior to the alleged murder.
Mathew Borges, 18, is charged with first-degree murder in the November 2016 death of Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino. He was 15 at the time but is being tried as an adult.
Viloria-Paulino’s body was found near the Merrimack River by a man walking his dog, a couple of weeks after his family reported him missing. Police found his head floating in the water nearby.
In court Thursday, Massachusetts State Police trooper Matt Wilson read texts Borges allegedly sent to Stephanie Soriano before Viloria-Paulino’s heinous death.
“Take a good look at my eyes the next time we talk because that may as well be the last time you see them like that ever again,” Borges allegedly said in a text to Soriano that Wilson read in front of the court.
Soriano replied, “Don’t say that. I don’t want to see your eyes dead.” Borges’ reply to Soriano read, “I know what I’m going to do and I can’t do anything about it. People will notice a big difference in me once my eyes turn dead.”
During testimony last week, prosecutors presented an array of incriminating evidence that suggests jealousy over a former girlfriend fueled Borges to brutally kill Viloria-Paulino.
A journal kept by Borges, which is said to have contained a “kill note,” was introduced by the prosecution. It indicated jealousy was a likely driving factor in the murder of Viloria-Paulino.
Borges’ friend, 18-year-old Jonathan Miranda, also testified in front of the court and said, “He [Borges] told me he killed Lee and cut off his head.”
Lawrence police detective Angel Mejia also introduced a text that was allegedly sent in Facebook group chat prior to the murder that said, “Guys Ima kill someone on Halloween. I’m not lying.”
Surveillance video from the night of the murder shows Borges and Viloria-Paulino walking to the Merrimack River to smoke marijuana, according to prosecutors.
Borges’ defense has suggested that Viloria-Paulino may have been killed in a violent gang attack.
No DNA, no weapon and no physical evidence that link Borges to the crime have been found.
A not guilty plea was previously entered on behalf of Borges.
Closing arguments are slated for Monday.
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