Medical Examiner Says Beheading Victim Was Stabbed Nearly 80 Times

A medical examiner said Monday that a Massachusetts teen whose decapitated head was found floating in a river three years ago was stabbed nearly 80 times before and after his death.

Following a week of shocking details, emotional testimony by family and a visit to the scene of the alleged crime, the murder trial of Mathew Borges continued into its second week on Monday.

Borges, 18, is charged with beheading former 16-year-old Lawrence High School classmate Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino. The defendant was 15-years-old at the time of the killing but is being tried as an adult.

Medical examiner Maria Del Mar Capo-Martinez testified Monday that Viloria-Paulino's body was stabbed a total of 76 times. Dozens of those stabbings appear to have happened after Viloria-Paulino was already dead.

She also testified that Viloria-Paulino's death was due to "multiple sharp force injuries."

Viloria-Paulino's headless body was found by a man walking his dog along the banks of the Merrimack River on Dec. 1, 2016, two weeks after his family reported him missing. His head was later found in a bag floating in the river.

Jurors on Friday visited several sites where prosecutors say the teenage victim's body was found.

"We're about to visit several places about which you have heard testimony," the judge told jurors before they boarded a bus. "Your responsibility on the view is to see the places observe them carefully and remember what you see."

The jury visited Viloria-Paulino's home and also the riverbank where his body was found. The teen's hands had been cut off and his head was found in a bag weighted down with rocks nearby, according to prosecutors.

Two witnesses last week said Borges confessed to the gruesome crime in a phone call the night of the murder.

In audio played for jurors Wednesday, the suspect could be heard telling Officer John Heggarty that he and the victim went to the Merrimack River to smoke marijuana on the day Viloria-Paulino went missing.

Borges said he left before the victim did and that this was the last time he saw him. Haggerty, however, said in the recording that Borges' account "doesn't make sense."

Prosecutors said during opening statements Monday that the murder of Viloria-Paulino was fueled by jealousy. They said Borges would get angry with his classmate when his then-girlfriend would speak to the victim.

The defense, however, has argued that Borges is only guilty of being involved in the break-in and nothing more. They said there is no evidence he killed Viloria-Paulino.

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