CLEMMONS – The Clemmons man charged with murder after skeletal remains were found in his yard on Sunday was convicted of choking his mother four years ago, according to court documents.

On May 28, 2010, Pazuzu Illah Algarad was accused of putting his mother, Cynthia Lawson, in a choke hold, forcing her onto the couch and choking her until she could not breathe. The incident happened at 2749 Knob Hill Drive, where the skeletal remains were found in shallow graves in the backyard.

Cynthia Lawson James and Johnny Larry James are listed as the owners of the house at 2749 Knob Hill Drive, according to county records.

Algarad pleaded guilty in Forsyth District Court on Aug. 23, 2011, to misdemeanor assault on a female and was placed on probation for 12 months.

Algarad’s girlfriend, Amber Burch, was also accused of assaulting Algarad’s mother in a separate incident. According to an arrest warrant for simple assault, Burch was accused of pushing, slapping and attempting to choke Algarad’s mother on Sept. 22, 2011. She was convicted and sentenced to 12 months probation, according to court documents.

Burch, who is also charged with murder in connection with the discovery of the skeletal remains, was also accused of hitting Algarad in the face on Nov. 7, 2011. She was convicted in 2012 of assault and battery in that incident, according to court documents.

Algarad was born in San Francisco in 1978. His father is listed as Timothy Lawson and Algarad’s birth name was John Alexander Lawson. In 2002, he legally changed his name to Pazuzu Illah Algarad, saying in an affidavit that the name change was for religious reasons. The affidavit did not offer any details about his religion, but Pazuzu is the name of an Assyrian demon whose name was used in the movie “The Exorcist.”

In a secured bond form related to the assault on his mother, a magistrate wrote that Cynthia Lawson told law-enforcement officials that she was afraid of her son, but she did not want to prosecute. Law enforcement also told the magistrate that Algarad regularly performed satanic rituals and animal sacrifices at the house on Knob Hill Drive, according to court documents.

Authorities have not identified the remains found on Sunday.

The sheriff’s office, assisted by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the N.C. State University Forensic Anthropology Unit and the Medical Examiner’s Office from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, executed a search warrant at the house on Sunday morning.

Authorities said they found the skeletal remains of two unidentified people buried in shallow graves in the back yard. The remains were transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for examination and positive identification.

Algarad and Burch have both been charged with one count of murder and one count of accessory after the fact. They are in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond allowed.

Algarad is also on probation for a 2012 conviction of accessory after the fact, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety. Algarad was charged with accessory after the fact of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Joseph Emmrick Chandler, a Clemmons man whose body was found at Donnaha Park in June 2010.

Nicholas Pasquale Rizzi of Lewisville was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Chandler’s death. Rizzi was convicted of that charge on March 31, 2011 and sentenced to one year and one month in prison, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

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