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SALEM, Mass. — A Massachusetts teenager convicted of fatally stabbing and then decapitating a high school classmate has been sentenced to life in prison.
Eighteen-year-old Mathew Borges, of Lawrence, will be eligible for parole in 30 years under the maximum allowable sentence handed down Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Helene Kanzajian.
A jury convicted Borges in May of first-degree murder in the November 2016 killing of 16-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino. Viloria-Paulino's decapitated body and head were found along the banks of a river by a dog walker.
Prosecutors say Borges was jealous that the victim had spent time with a girl he liked.
Under Massachusetts law, a first-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole for adults. But parole eligibility must be added if the crime was committed as a juvenile. Borges was 15 at the time of the slaying.
Viloria-Paulino’s mother, Katiuska Paulino, testified at Tuesday's sentencing that her son was "the soul of this family," NBC Boston reported.
"He should never have the opportunity to kill again, to rob another person of their life," she said.
Borges did not make a statement Tuesday, but his attorney, Ed Hayden, said after the sentencing that the teen now "has a chance at turning his life around," the station reported.
Borges' attorney said they plan to appeal. If the conviction is upheld, Borges he will be in his 40s when he is eligible for parole.
"This vicious murder claimed more than just Lee Paulino’s life," Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement Tuesday. "Its brutality was shocking to the community and tore at our sense of decency and humanity."
He also called the murder devastating to all those who loved Viloria-Paulino, calling it "a loss that simply cannot be measured."
"Understanding that there is no number of years that can restore this family’s loss, it is my hope that they can now find some peace," Blodgett said.