A Massachusetts teen has been indicted in the gruesome murder of a classmate whose headless body was found on the banks of the Merrimack River late last year.
The body of 16-year-old Lee Viloria-Paulino was discovered in Lawrence on Dec. 1. Less than a week later, Mathew Borges, then 15, was arrested.
Borges, now 16, was indicted Monday on first degree murder charges by an Essex County grand jury.
The latest news from around the state
"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, according to a statement from his office.
If Borges is convicted, he would face a life sentence. But because he was a minor at the time of the killing, he would have the possibility of parole after 20 to 30 years.
Viloria-Paulino's body was found by a woman walking her dog along the Merrimack River on Dec. 1. He had last been seen on Nov. 18. According to a police report, surveillance video showed him leaving a house with Borges that day. The report also said Borges told authorities he had smoked marijuana with Viloria-Paulino on the night he disappeared, but also said he left him alive near the Merrimack River.
A witness also reportedly came forward to police, claiming Borges told them what he had done.