For Immediate Release - March 13, 2017

Lawrence Teen Indicted for Murder

An Essex County Grand Jury indicted Mathew Borges, 16, today for first-degree murder.  He is accused of killing his 16 year-old classmate, Lee Manuel Paulino, on or about November 18, 2016.  Paulino’s decapitated body was discovered in the Merrimack River near McCabe Court on December 1, 2016.

“This indictment alleges a gruesome act of violence by the defendant and is the first step in a long process to secure justice for Mr. Paulino and his loved ones,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.

The indictment moves the case to the Superior Court, which is the only court in which murder can be tried.  Massachusetts General Law chapter 119, section 74 requires that anyone over the age of 14 who is indicted for murder be tried in the Superior Court and, therefore, be subject to a state prison sentence.  Since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the sentence of life without parole for a juvenile is unconstitutional, a defendant who is between the ages of 14 and 18 and is convicted of first degree murder faces a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 20 to 30 years.

Mr. Borges will be arraigned in Salem Superior Court on March 31, 2017. 

The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.