Who Is Mathew Borges? New Details On The Massachusetts Teen Who Cut Off Classmates Head And Hands

Photo: WBZ 
 Who Is Mathew Borges? New Details On The Massachusetts Teen Who Cut Off Classmates Head And Hands

Teenagers feel things more keenly than adults. It's basic science, not just a cliche. The truth of the matter is that teenagers' brains are growing at a rapid rate and their bodies are constantly adjusting to the newly gushing hormones throughout their systems. Best case scenario this leads to some acne and maybe some awkward moments at the school dance. But worst case scenario can be something much more sinister. When one Massachusetts teen discovered that his ex-girlfriend had moved on with someone new, something inside of him just snapped. Hormones, madness, mental illness or some eerie combination of the three, only one thing right now is certain: a 16-year-old is dead, and 15-year-old Mathew Borges has been arrested for his murder. Who is Mathew Borges?

1. The Crime & Motive 

15-year-old Mathew Borges of Massachusetts stands accused of a truly horrific crime. It would be horrific if he were 45, sure, but there's something about the fact that the guy can't even legally drive a car yet that makes the case even more appalling. Mathew has been arrested under the suspicion that he cut off the hands and head of another teenage boy, 16-year-old Lee Viloria-Paulino. The authorities who arrested Mathew believe that his reasons for killing Lee were twofold. First, he was threatened and jealous of the boy who he perceived as being more popular. The second, and perhaps more clear-cut reason: Lee had begun dating Mathew's ex-girlfriend. In a pretty damning text to his ex-girlfriend sent just a day before Lee went missing, Mathew wrote: “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.”

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2. The Witness

The state's case is already a relatively strong one,and new witness testimony has only served to make it even stronger. This week, an eyewitness who spotted the body of Lee gave very moving testimony in the courtroom. “I thought I saw a dead body but I wasn’t too sure because it was missing some limbs,” said witness Omar Martinez. According to Martinez, he was taking his dog for a walk along a river in Lawrence, Massachusetts not far from his home one afternoon in December 2016. That's when he spotted what wound up being the remains of the young man. While Omar can't point the finger of blame directly at Mathew, hearing about the ghastly discovery will not reflect well on Mathew in the jurors' eyes. 

3. Identification & Arrest

The identification of the body Omar found took place almost immediately after he contacted the authorities. You see, they had been looking for Lee since he was first reported missing at the beginning of November 2016. The police confirmed that the body was found without hands and without a head. It is not a matter of public record how they were able to identify Lee. What is known is that it didn't take very long for police to make the leap from identifying Lee's remains to arresting Mathew on the charges of first-degree premeditated murder with cruelty and violence. How long the police were investigating Mathew in connection with Lee's disappearance prior to the discovery of the remains is unknown, but it's clear that the authorities knew about the animosity that Mathew had for Lee.

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4. Evidence 

While Mathew might just be 15, that doesn't mean he's going to be tried as a minor. In Massachusetts, Mathew and anyone else charged in a crime of this nature between the ages of 14 and 18 can still serve up to life in prison, which could mean anywhere from 20 to 30 years in prison if he is convicted. The mounting evidence makes a conviction look more and more likely. There is surveillance footage that actually SHOWS Mathew and Lee leaving Lee's home and walking in the direction of the river, the same river location where Lee's body would eventually be found. In addition to this shot, the footage also shows other figures moving around later carrying heavy looking duffel bags as they go. Speculating, the police believe they could have contained the head and hands of Lee. A journal of Mathew's confiscated by authorities discusses smoking pot with Lee and his desires to kill him. 

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5.  The Defense

While all of this might seem enough to damn Mathew, his defense team is not giving up hope. In fact, they are going all out to prove that the state does not have a real case against Mathew. In fact, Mathew's lawyer, Edward Hayden, says that the only thing that the state has proved is that Lee and Mathew knew each other and that Mathew took unknown items from his home. This is the line the team is sticking to in the extreme. Hayden is working hard to make it clear to the jurors that there isn't any DNA evidence, there aren't any weapons or tools or anything else to connect Mathew to Lee's murder. The jealousy over the ex-girlfriend, Hayden says, is impossible to glean from any of the records presented by the atate. The trial will continue for at least another two weeks. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr