MOORHEAD — A man accused of killing a teen and dismembering her body allegedly got help from two of her friends in covering up the crime, according to court documents.
Charges filed Thursday, April 23, in Clay County District Court against Andrea Catherine Payne, 26, and David Marvin Erno, 22, both of Moorhead, shed more light on what happened to 19-year-old Dystynee Avery the night she was killed.
Payne and Erno each face a second-degree accomplice to murder charge, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
The newly filed court documents still allege Avery’s roommate, 27-year-old Ethan Martin Broad, is solely responsible for her death, but they detail how Payne and Erno failed to report the killing that happened on or about April 4 at the apartment where Broad and Avery lived at 1310 28th Ave. S. in Moorhead. Broad faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.
According to court documents:
Payne, who also lived with Broad and Avery at the time, told police during an interview she came home from work when Broad and Avery were arguing in the back bedroom. At one point, Broad came out and said Avery might claim he raped her, according to Payne, but court documents don’t allege that happened.
Payne told authorities Broad went back into the bedroom while Payne sat on a couch in another room. Payne could hear their fight continue and that’s when she heard “several loud thumps or strikes,” Payne told authorities.
Broad came out again and said he hit Avery over the head with a lead pipe and “cracked her skull open,” Payne told authorities. She told police she left the apartment without checking on Avery.
Before Payne returned with Erno, Broad dragged Avery’s body in a blue bin from his first-floor apartment to his garage and used several saws to cut up her body, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Monday. He then put her remains in garbage bags and threw them in the apartment dumpsters, the complaint said.
Payne told authorities she made a sandwich when she returned to the apartment, her criminal complaint said. Broad told Erno and Payne he put Avery’s body in a tote in the garage, Erno told investigators.
Erno told police Payne instructed him to grab Avery’s computer and destroy it. Erno later wiped the computer clean of contents that would show it belonged to Avery, according to court documents.
Surveillance footage at the apartment confirmed Payne was at the apartment when Avery died, court documents said. It also showed Payne leaving, Broad dragging a blue bin to his garage, and Payne returning to the apartment with Erno afterwards, investigators said in court documents.
Payne initially told police she thought Avery was missing but didn't know where Avery was, adding that she believed Avery hitchhiked to Colorado or Texas, according to court documents.
Payne, Erno and Broad are being held in the Clay County Jail. Broad would have to post a $1 million bond to be released without conditions, while Payne and Erno would need to pay $500,000 each.
Broad's attorney, Kenneth Kludt, declined to comment on the case. Brian Toay, who was appointed to represent Payne, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Rex Tucker, who oversees public defense in Clay County, is expected to appoint an attorney for Erno soon.
Avery's family and friends told The Forum she was close friends with Erno, Payne and Broad. Avery moved to Moorhead from Devers, Texas, about a year and a half ago to be with her then-boyfriend and lived with Broad on and off during her time in the city.
Avery looked up to Broad and Payne as though they were her siblings, Avery's family said.