Salem, Mass. — They had it all planned out.
On the evening of Nov. 18, 2016, Mathew Borges was to distract Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino so his friends could break in at Viloria-Paulino's home on Forest Street in Lawrence and rob him of electronics and clothes.
But in explosive testimony Wednesday morning, a Lawrence teen said Borges told him and several friends that he killed and beheaded Viloria-Paulino, 16.
Jonathan Miranda, 18, testified that Borges told him and several others within earshot that he "killed Lee and cut off his head."
"He said he stabbed him," Miranda continued, answering a question from Prosecutor James Gubitose in Salem Superior Court.
Borges said he cut off Viloria-Paulino's head "so he wouldn't be caught," Miranda continued.
Now age 17, Borges was 15 years old at the time of the murder. He is charged with killing Viloria-Paulino with premeditation and extreme cruelty and atrocity.
His first-degree murder trial started Monday and is expected to last several weeks. Borges is being tried as an adult.
Viloria-Paulino was last seen Nov. 18, 2016 and his body was found Dec. 1, 2016.
Jurors on Wednesday heard from two teens who broke into Viloria-Paulino's home and later heard Borges' ominous phone call.
Also, jurors listened to a tape of two investigators questioning Borges just two days before Viloria-Paulino's decapitated body was found on a Lawrence riverbank.
A state trooper found the teen's head a short distance away in plastic bags.
Called to the stand Wednesday morning as a prosecution witness, Miranda testified he was among a group of teens who broke into Viloria-Paulino's apartment.
Borges was tasked with getting Viloria-Paulino out of his apartment so the other teens could steal from him, Miranda testified.
"Everybody was in on the plan," Miranda said.
Miranda testified that after he and several others stole from the apartment, Borges called them and told them he had killed Viloria-Paulino.
"Everybody got nervous and scared," Miranda said.
Miranda said he went home, leaving any items he had stolen behind.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Ed Hayden asked Miranda why he didn't immediately report to police what Borges had said. Hayden said Miranda had committed larceny, obstruction of justice and perjury, but never faced any criminal charges.
"I just don't want to go to jail for a murder I didn't do," said Miranda.
Hayden also asked Miranda if he had smoked weed Wednesday morning and if he was "high" while he was in court testifying.
"No, I am not," Miranda said.
Angel Betancourt, 20, of Haverhill, another person who broke into Viloria-Paulino's home, also recalled Borges' ominous phone call.
Betancourt testified that his nickname is "Scooby."
Like Miranda, Betancourt said Borges' role that night was to "separate" Viloria-Paulino from his house so the other teens could break in.
"I took some clothes, some shorts and a Playstation," said Betancourt.
After leaving the house, Betancourt said they stopped for a "breather" in an alley and then went to one of the teen's homes.
That's when Borges called them, he said.
"It started off with, 'My hands were bloody. He came at me the wrong way so I did what I had to do,'" Betancourt testified about what Borges said during the phone call.
Betancourt initially lied to police and also has not faced any criminal charges, he acknowledged under cross-examination by Hayden.
Betancourt lied about his role in the break-in, previously telling police he was the "lookout" and hadn't gone in the house, but was down the street at a cemetery.
"I was just scared. I was nervous," Betancourt testified.
Lawrence police Detective Jay Heggarty, the lead investigator into Viloria-Paulino's disappearance, also took the stand Wednesday and detailed his efforts to find the teen after he disappeared.
Heggarty said he spoke with family members and school officials. Viloria-Paulino's family also turned over the teen's broken, green iPhone to him.
On Nov. 23, 2016, Heggarty and fellow Detective Kevin Schiavone went to Borges' home on Oxford Street in Lawrence and asked if he had any idea where Viloria-Paulino could be.
Borges told them that on the evening of Nov. 18, he had gone with Viloria-Paulino to the Lawrence riverfront to smoke weed, listen to music, talk and look at the lights on the water.
The detectives and Borges went together to the riverfront where he'd gone with Viloria-Paulino. He told them Viloria-Paulino left before him that night and he stayed at the riverbank alone.
On Nov. 29, 2016, with Viloria-Paulino now missing for 11 days, Heggarty asked Borges to come the Lawrence police station to be interviewed.
Jurors were played an audio tape of Heggarty and state Trooper Matt Wilson questioning Borges, who brought his father, Hector Alicea, with him.
Borges was read his Miranda rights and reminded of his right to remain silent.
In this interview, Borges changes course, telling the detectives that on Nov. 18, 2016 he left the riverbank — leaving Viloria-Paulino behind.
On the tape, Heggarty stresses to Borges that they are concerned about the whereabouts of the missing teen. He asks Borges if Viloria-Paulino might have run away, is hiding out somewhere or perhaps is having trouble at home. He tells Borges police can help Viloria-Paulino if this is the case.
Initially, Borges answers questions from the detectives succinctly. But, over time, he seems agitated and says, "I told you about that last time."
The detectives assure Borges they are not concerned about the weed the two were smoking.
"We want to know more about Lee. ... We want to make sure he is OK," Wilson says.
Still, Borges seems annoyed and maintains he does not know Viloria-Paulino's whereabouts.
"You are asking me questions about people I've never seen before. ... You are asking me in different ways," Borges says.
In a more forceful tone, Heggarty tells Borges he's had instances where he interviewed people for seven hours and for six-and-a-half of those hours they were lying.
"This story doesn't sound too good," Heggarty tells Borges.
Borges tells the detectives he heard a girl at school talking about the disappearance.
"She said, 'He either ran away or he's ....' And she ended the sentence right there," Borges says.
Jurors are expected to hear the end of the taped interview with Heggarty and Wilson on Thursday morning.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.