Krystal Matlock

Krystal Matlock blows a kiss to her family as she leaves the courtroom Monday. Matlock pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the death of Joshua Fredrick Wetzler. She was accused of helping bury Wetzler in the backyard of a home in Clemmons.

The last chapter in one of Forsyth County’s most bizarre murder cases — the brutal killings of two men, who were then buried for five years in the backyard of a now-demolished Clemmons house — came to an end Monday when Krystal Nicole Matlock was convicted for her role in helping to bury one of the men.

Matlock, 30, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to conspiracy to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She had been indicted earlier this year on accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She entered her guilty plea based on a bill of information, which is a waiver of indictment and an agreement that she can be prosecuted on the new charge.

Judge John O. Craig of Forsyth Superior Court sentenced her to three years and two months to four years and 10 months in prison.

The murder case all started with the discovery in October 2014 of the skeletal remains of two men, later identified as Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and Tommy Dean Welch. Both men had been missing for five years. Welch had been shot in the back of the head, and Wetzler was shot three times in the head and at least four times around the torso.

Pazuzu Algarad, an avowed Satanist, and his girlfriend, Amber Nicole Burch, were each charged with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Algarad was accused of fatally killing Wetzler in July 2009. Burch was accused of fatally shooting Welch in October 2009. They helped each other bury the bodies in the backyard of the house that Algarad’s mother, Cynthia James, owned at 2749 Knob Hill Drive.

Algarad was transferred from the Forsyth County Jail to state prison on a safekeeping order and killed himself in October 2015.

Burch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed robbery and accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to about 30 years to 40 years in prison.

Matlock was accused of helping to bury Wetzler.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Friel said in court that Burch was out of town when Algarad shot Wetzler.

Detective C.E. Meadows testified during Burch’s hearing that Wetzler had lived at the house for at least two to three weeks before he was shot to death. Cynthia James saw her son standing over Wetzler with a rifle in his hands and went back to her room to finish getting ready for work, Meadows said in court.

When she went to leave, Algarad was still standing over Wetzler and made the statement that he needed to make sure Wetzler was dead and shot Wetzler again.

Friel said Wetzler’s body stayed in the basement of the house for two weeks. When Burch came back to the house, she, Algarad and Matlock conspired to bury the body, Friel said. Matlock knew that Algarad had killed Wetzler.

They dug a hole outside the house near the basement. When the body didn’t fit, they had to dismember one of Wetzler’s legs, Friel said.

In October 2009, Algarad and Burch picked up Welch from a gas station and brought him to their house. Then Burch announced she would kill Welch. She retrieved a .22-caliber rifle and shot Welch twice in the back of the head.

Prosecutors said there was no clear motive to the killings.

Court documents show that Algarad regularly performed “Satanistic rituals” and animal sacrifices at the house.

Algarad was born in San Francisco in 1978 and his birth name was John Alexander Lawson. He changed his name to Pazuzu Illah Algarad in 2002, saying in an affidavit that the name change was for religious reasons.

According to a psychiatric report connected to an unrelated crime, Algarad told psychiatrists at the now-closed Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh that he had practiced a Sumerian religion that involved the monthly sacrifice of a small animal.

David Freedman, Matlock’s attorney, said Matlock was a friend of Burch and found herself in a horrible situation.

She has two children— one is 9 and the other is 2. Freedman said she was pregnant with her youngest at the time of her arrest.

Matlock apologized for her actions.

“I just wanted to say I’m sorry I didn’t come forward,” she said, adding that she was scared. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

mhewlett@wsjournal.com 336-727-7326 @mhewlettWSJ

Recommended for you

Load comments