SALEM, Mass. — The trial for the Lawrence teen charged with the beheading murder of a classmate has been pushed to Nov. 5.
Mathew Borges, 16, is accused of beheading Lee Manuel Vitoria-Paulino, 16, and was scheduled to go to trial on a first-degree murder charge Sept. 10.
Attorneys still are handling motions, however, and the case was briefly called in Salem Superior Court on Thursday morning.
Borges was not in court Thursday. Judge Timothy Feeley said he should be brought to court Sept. 7 when motions in the case could be discussed.
Since his arrest, Borges has remained held without bail at a juvenile detention facility in Dorchester. There, through the Department of Youth Services, he is continuing his high school education.
The trial is now set to begin nearly two years after Viloria-Paulino went missing and was found murdered.
Borges and Viloria-Paulino were students at Lawrence High School.
Viloria-Paulino, 16, was found decapitated on a riverbank off Water Street on Dec. 1, 2016. The teen's head was found a short distance away from his body, investigators said.
A motive for the gruesome murder has not been publicly revealed.
Viloria-Paulino was last seen Nov. 18 and court papers show Borges was initially questioned by police about the disappearance Nov. 23, 2016.
Edward Hayden, Borges' court-appointed defense attorney, has filed a motion asking for funds to pay for a "Boston-based gang expert" which is "necessary to the defense," according to court papers.
The motion was allowed but the fee cannot exceed $2,500, according to court papers.
Hayden also attempted to get Borges' cell phone tossed from evidence in the first-degree murder case. He was unsuccessful, however.
Viloria-Paulino's father was murdered earlier this month in Puerto Rico where he was living, according to a family member.
Felix Dario Burdier, 39, was robbed, shot and killed in the Vega Alta area of Puerto Rico, said Alexandra Burdier, his daughter.
The killing is under investigation.
Local authorities said they do not believe Burdier's killing is any way connected to Viloria-Paulino's case.
Viloria-Paulino last was seen by his family around 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 2016. He was reported missing to the Lawrence police the following day.
Police said Viloria-Paulino and Borges went to the riverbank on the night of Nov. 18 to smoke marijuana, where Borges allegedly attacked him.
A video of the two teens leaving Viloria-Paulino’s 50 Forest St. home that evening was seized by police, according to records.
According to a police report, Borges told an unidentified witness that he stabbed Viloria-Paulino and then cut off his head.
Among potential evidence investigators found on Borges' cell phone was a deleted message from October 2016 in which Borges wrote, "'You and I need to discuss demons we will face when the task is done,'" according to court paperwork.
Paperwork also states that Vitoria-Paulino had been researching "craziest of most drastic ways" to commit suicide.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.