Jury Deliberation Begins In Lawrence Decapitation Trial

mathew borges decapitation lawrence murder

Mathew Borges. (Lawrence Police)

SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Closing arguments were made Monday morning in the trial of a Lawrence teen accused of killing and mutilating his classmate, and the case has now gone to the jury for deliberation.

Mathew Borges is charged with murdering Lee Paulino in November 2016, when Borges was just 15 years old. Paulino's body was later found in the Merrimack River, headless and handless.

Paulino's family was present in Salem Superior Court, wearing shirts that read "We want answers! We need answers! We need justice!"

Defense Attorney Ed Hayden began his argument noting the lack of physical evidence tying Borges to the murder.

"There is no crime scene ... no DNA ... and there is no motive," he told the jury.

Prosecutors claim Borges' motive was jealousy over a girl he saw Paulino talking to, and cited text messages to the girl, Stephanie, in which Borges appeared to seem obsessed with Paulino.

Hayden told the jury those social media messages Borges sent to Stephanie were mere flirtations Borges was using to amuse her.

But Gubitose said those messages were not flirting. He read one message in which Borges got angry at Stephanie for not checking in with him after school, quoting him as writing "You belong to me."

Gubitose admitted there was no DNA evidence, and there were no fingerprints, but said "his fingerprints are all over this case." He said the weather washed away the crime scene, but the cold and water preserved Paulino's body for investigators.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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