“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.”
Those were the chilling words spoken by Mathew Borges, a jealous boyfriend whose temper might him in prison for the rest of his life.
In 2016, Borges was in a high school relationship, but struggled with jealousy between his girlfriend and other guys. When he saw her sitting with now deceased Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, he reportedly snapped and “started screaming at her.”
So when Viloria-Paulino turned up dead, authorities looked to Borges for answers.
The trial began this week in a Salem, Massachusetts superior court with opening arguments. The prosecutor in the case, Jay Gubitose, alleged that Borges stabbed Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino and cut off his head and hands.
A man walking his dog in the beginning of December noticed Viloria-Paulino’s decapitated body near the river. Investigators discovered his head in a bag nearby.
Surveillance video recovered from a neighbor reportedly shows Borges and Viloria-Paulino walking together away from the home and toward a river on the day of the murder. Borges claims that he and his classmate were simply hanging out and smoking marijuana and that he left after.
However, the same video later shows people outside the victims homes, then again holding duffel bags. Borges’ attorney, Edward Hayden, says that his client and his friends did burglarize the victim’s home, but denies any part in the murder.
According to the defense, Borges had no role in the violent death by the river, but coincidentally happened to break into the victim’s house and steal shortly after Viloria-Paulino disappeared. And yet they continue to argue that Borges had no personal motives against the victim.
Though text messages sent from Borges’ phone “supposedly indicate jealousy,” he argued, they did not mention Viloria-Paulino in any way.
“I think of killing someone and I smirk … It’s all I think about every day”
“In these thousands of texts and messages there is no evidence that Mathew killed Lee. Anything incriminating is referring to the house break,” Hayden said. “There is nothing in all these messages.”
One of Borges’ texts to his girlfriend reportedly exposed his interest in violence.
“I think of killing someone and I smirk … It’s all I think about every day,” the text read.
The trial of a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing and beheading a high school classmate is set to begin tomorrow after several postponements: https://t.co/aTB1AWm3MX
— WBUR (@WBUR) April 21, 2019
Prosecutors also have no DNA or physical evidence linking Borges to Viloria-Paulino’s violent death.
“There’s no murder scene, no murder weapon, no tools to dismember a body, no finger prints no blood, no DNA,” said Hayden.
“And there’s no motive,” he stated, but Borges’ jealous attitude might argue differently. When police searched the defendant’s home, they recovered his journal.
The words, “kill him” appeared inside.
Borges also wrote about calling his friends about the day in question, telling them to cover their shoes with bags.
“The defendant told them he stabbed him to death and cut his head and hands off so he couldn’t be identified,” Gubitose said.
Borges is being tried as an adult and faces first-degree murder charges.