SALEM, Mass. — The trial for a Lawrence teen charged with the 2016 beheading murder of a classmate has been pushed off until next year.
Attorneys will be back in Salem Superior Court next month discussing expert witnesses that can potentially be called at trial, however.
In court papers filed already, defense attorneys for Mathew Borges have indicated they want to call as many as six expert witnesses to testify during his trial.
A discussion on Thursday in court about a motion pertaining to the expert witnesses was continued until Dec. 5.
The trial itself is now scheduled for April 22.
Borges is accused of beheading Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, 16, and was first scheduled to go to trial on a first-degree murder charge in September.
That initial trial date was then moved to Nov. 5 but waived off as a continuance was requested for records.
In early October, defense attorneys notified Assistant District Attorneys James Gubitose and David O'Sullivan they intend to call six expert witnesses.
The prosecutors said they needed more time to prepare for trial.
Edward Hayden, Borges' court-appointed defense attorney, previously 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 cost cannot exceed $2,500, according to court papers.
Borges remains in a juvenile detention facility in Dorchester, where he's been held without bail since his arrest on Dec. 3, 2016. There, through the Department of Youth Services, he is continuing his high school education.
Borges and Viloria-Paulino were students at Lawrence High School.
Viloria-Paulino 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 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 Viloria-Paulino had been researching "craziest ... most drastic ways" to commit suicide.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.
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