- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for Lawrence Teen Sentenced to Life for Murder
Lawrence, Massachusetts — A Lawrence teenager was given the maximum sentence of life with the possibility of parole after 30 years for murdering his 16-year old classmate in 2016. Judge Helene Kazanjian imposed the sentence at a hearing in Salem Superior Court this afternoon.
Mathew Borges, 18, was convicted of first-degree murder on May 15th, following a 9-day trial in Salem Superior Court. Since Mr. Borges was 15 when he committed the crime, he may not be sentenced to life without parole. (In 2013, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a juvenile was unconstitutional.)
The victim’s mother, Katiuska Paulino, gave an emotional victim impact statement and urged the court to impose the maximum sentence. “There are no more dreams for the dreamer, the brother, the writer and the poet that was Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino… He has been the soul of this family since he was born,” she said. “We are the living dead after he was brutally ripped from our side.”
“This vicious murder claimed more than just Lee Paulino’s life. Its brutality was shocking to the community and tore at our sense of decency and humanity. Most of all, it has devastated all those who loved Lee. His family will never celebrate his graduation or his birthday. They will never know what he would have become. It is a loss that simply cannot be measured,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “Understanding that there is no number of years that can restore this family’s loss, it is my hope that they can now find some peace.”
Essex Assistant District Attorneys James Gubitose, Jessica Strasnick and David O’Sullivan represented the Commonwealth. They acknowledged and thanked Essex Chief of Victim Services Maureen Wilson Leal for her assistance as well as all of the Lawrence Police and State Police detectives involved in the investigation, especially Massachusetts State Police detective Matt Wilson and Lawrence Police detectives Jay Heggarty and Angel Mejia.
Mr. Borges will receive 948 days of jail credit. He was represented by Attorneys Edward Hayden and Amy Smith.