WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Amber Nicole Burch, who, along with her late boyfriend, Pazuzu Algarad, is accused of killing and burying two men in 2009 in the backyard of their Clemmons house, will spend 30 to 40 years in prison.
Algarad and Burch were arrested on Oct. 5, 2014, and charged with the murder and burial of two men at their home.
The two are accused of murdering Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and Tommy Dean Welch in 2009, then burying their bodies behind the home at 2749 Knob Hill Drive.
Burch accepted a plea deal on Thursday, appearing in Superior Court. She is guilty of one count of second-degree murder for the death of Welch, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of accessory after the fact for the murder of Wetzler.
Detectives say Burch’s involvement began in July of 2009. In weeks prior, Wetzler had been living at Algarad’s home.
Following the execution of the search warrants at the Clemmons home in 2014, Algarad was interviewed by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say Algarad told them he had shot and killed Wetzler with a .22 caliber rifle in self-defense. However, evidence refuted that claim.
At this point, detectives say Burch was living in South Carolina. They say several weeks after Wetzler’s murder, Algarad contacted Burch and requested her to come to the Clemmons home.
“When she arrived, she arrived to the decomposing body of Joshua Wetzler in the basement,” said Detective C.E. Meadows, of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Meadows continued to say that Algarad and Burch dug a hole in the backyard and buried him in it.
“Either he was too big to fit in the hole, or too big to transport, and that was why he was dismembered,” Meadows explained, as to why Wetzler’s right leg was partially removed.
Months later, in October of 2009, detectives say Algarad, Burch and another person picked up Tommy Dean Welch from a gas station in Clemmons.
The four of them went to the home on Knob Hill Drive before the unnamed individual left about 30 minutes later.
Algarad, Burch and Welch began consuming alcohol. Sometime after dark and before midnight, Burch “mentioned to Pazuzu that she was going to kill him, and Pazuzu stated that, ‘you know where the gun’s at and it’s loaded,’” Meadows said.
Meadows told the court that Burch then shot Welch in the back of the head with the same .22 caliber rifle Algarad used to kill Wetzler, while Welch was sitting on the couch next to Algarad.
Welch then slumped over before Burch fired another shot into the back of his head.
At this point, Algarad and Burch buried Welch in the backyard, under what used to be a fire pit.
Detectives say Burch wore Welch’s shoes as they buried his body. When his body was found in 2014, he was face down in the grave; his body contorted.
Detectives say Algarad’s mother, Cynthia James, was inside the home when both murders occurred.
When Algarad killed Wetzler, detectives say James was in her bedroom. They say she heard gunfire, and went to the living area of the home, where she saw her son still holding the weapon.
Per her interview with investigators, they say she then returned to her room to continue getting ready for work.
She then returned to the room where the shooting took place, and witnessed Algarad shoot Wetzler again to “make sure he was dead.”
They say when Welch was killed, James was in her bedroom once more. Upon hearing gunshots – fired by Burch into Welch’s head – she exited her bedroom, and saw Burch holding the firearm, with Welch slumped over.
Meadows said less than an hour later, James saw Burch and another woman dragging Welch into the backyard, which was consistent with Algarad’s statement.
“Very disturbing that his mother, Pazuzu’s mother, saw it happen and proceeded to get ready for work and it blows my mind,” said Stacy Carter, the mother of Joshua Wetzler’s son. “Where is her accountability?”
Prosecutors say there is still no clear motive behind Welch’s murder, but added that Burch may have done it to impress Algarad, or gain his approval.
Algarad, a self-proclaimed Satanist, was found dead around 3 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2015, in Central Prison in Raleigh, unresponsive with a wound to his arm, during a regular inmate check, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Workers attempted unsuccessfully to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at 4:20 a.m. Authorities with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety say it was an apparent suicide.
Here is a look inside the home where the skeletal remains were found buried in the backyard.
Rooms and hallways were blanketed in trash and animal carcasses. The walls were spray-painted in graffiti, covered in mold and lined with hundreds of satanic photos and drawings.
The case of a third person charged in connection, Krystal Matlock, facing a charge of accessory after the fact to murder, is still pending.