Trial in Massachusetts teen beheading case getting underway

In this 2017 photo, Matthew Borges, then 15, of Lawrence, is brought into the prisoner dock before being arraigned in Lawrence District Court. Borges is accused of decapitating Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, then 16, of Lawrence. Paul Bilodeau / Pool

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The trial of a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing and beheading a high school classmate is getting underway after several postponements.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that jury selection in Mathew Borges’ trial is scheduled to start Monday, with opening statements expected Wednesday.

Borges is charged with first-degree murder in the November 2016 death of 16-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino. The now-17-year-old Borges was 15 at the time but is being tried as an adult.

Both were students at Lawrence High School at the time.

Viloria-Paulino’s body was found near the Merrimack River by a woman walking her dog, a couple of weeks after his family reported him missing. Police found his head nearby. The motive remains unclear.

Borges’ defense team has suggested that Viloria-Paulino was the victim of a violent gang.