Mathew Borges Found Guilty In Lawrence Decapitation Murder Case

mathew borges court murder verdict lee paulino

Mathew Borges in court Tuesday. (WBZ-TV)

SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Mathew Borges has been found guilty of first-degree murder with extreme atrocity in the killing of his classmate, Lee Paulino, in Lawrence in 2016.

The verdict was delivered by the jury shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Jurors deliberated for about nine hours over two days.

Prosecutors said Borges killed Paulino because he was furious Paulino was talking to his girlfriend. Paulino's body was found, mutilated and headless, on the banks of the Merrimack River in December 2016, about a month after he had gone missing.

Family members of Paulino wept as the verdict was read. Borges' family did not come to court.

"We're disappointed of course," Ed Hayden, Borges' defense attorney, said. "We thought we had a defense, but the jury, you know, they obviously worked hard, and they did their best to come to a verdict. We just don't agree with it."

Borges' appeal in the case was filed automatically.

In a release, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett thanked the jurors for their service.

"Nothing can bring Lee Paulino back to his family, who obviously love and miss him very much," Blodgett said. "It is my hope that this verdict gives them some comfort and peace."

Borges was only 15 at the time of the murder, and as such, will face life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled six years ago that giving a juvenile life in prison without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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