Crime Watch 8

Docs: Man’s December murder part of Indy couple’s prostitution, robbery scheme

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Text message records and interviews in court documents unsealed on Tuesday allege a man was lured into an Indianapolis couple’s prostitution scheme before being robbed and murdered in December.

Earon Ervin Jr., 31, was arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail on Monday on two counts of murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, police and online jail records say. Those charges are in connection to the Dec. 1, 2020, shooting death of 46-year-old Adam Sayers.

Ervin’s girlfriend brought him to Community East Hospital around 4 a.m. Dec. 1 with a gunshot wound. When Indianapolis Metropolitan police talked to Ervin’s girlfriend, they learned the couple had come to the hospital from an address on Wallace Avenue at the Glen Ridge Manor at Indy Town apartments, near East 21st Street and North Emerson Avenue., court documents say.

At roughly the same time, officers went to that area to look for the scene where Ervin was shot, other officers were called to a scene about 200 feet away, where they found a man later identified as Sayers. He was lying in front of steps leading into a townhouse and had an apparent gunshot wound. Sayers was pronounced dead at the scene around 4:30 a.m., court documents say.

Detectives found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol under Sayers and his phone in his pocket. About 15 feet from Sayers, police found a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol and another cellphone. They also found what appeared to be blood near the door handle leading into the townhouse and got a search warrant to go inside, court documents say.

Inside, detectives found a COVID-style mask and a glove that both appeared to have fresh blood stains, and more blood on the back door, kitchen floor and upstairs wall. A cellphone was also found inside the townhouse; that phone matched Ervin’s girlfriend’s description of her own phone. Ervin’s sister, who lives in the townhouse, got home while police were conducting the search and told detectives that Ervin and his girlfriend had stayed there the night before, court documents say.

When police interviewed Ervin’s girlfriend, she confirmed that they were visiting his sister, who had left to spend the night with her boyfriend, and that Ervin, his girlfriend and their newborn were staying at the townhouse on Wallace Avenue. She told police that Ervin went outside to smoke a cigarette around 3:30 a.m.; then around 4 a.m., she heard gunshots coming from the same area. She went to the back door and he was running toward the door but did not come inside. She told police he said he’d been shot and needed to go to the hospital, so she drove him there, holding their newborn in her arms on the way, court documents say.

At the hospital, Ervin told police he was robbed by a Black man wearing gray sweatpants. Sayers was a white man who was wearing blue jeans, according to police. Ervin told a detective a man he knew from a nearby gas station but whose name he did not know called him wanting to buy marijuana and came to the townhouse in a car with two other people. Ervin said that when he went outside to meet up, the man shot him several times and stole his money before leaving in the car, court documents say.

When asked, Ervin told police he did have the man’s phone number but he did not have his phone and did not know where it was. At that point, a detective got out the phone found near Sayers and asked Ervin if it was his, showing him the screen lock image, “which is unique,” and he confirmed it was his phone, according to court documents.

Police checked for evidence of a robbery or blood stains in the area Ervin where described being robbed and shot and found nothing other than the blood on the back door of the apartment, court documents say.

After police unlocked Sayers’ phone, they found text messages with a number listed in court documents as 317-622-XXXX, discussing meeting a woman to have sex. The texts included a photo of a woman that the detective recognized as Ervin’s girlfriend and messages that told Sayers to come to the 4800 block of East 19th Street, where Sayers was found shot.

The text exchange in court documents between Sayers and the phone number:

  • 3:48 a.m. from Sayers: “I am here …which place?”
  • 317-622-XXXX: “R u here hun?”
  • Sayers: “Yes”
  • 3:51 a.m. from Sayers: “At the door”
  • 317-622-XXXX: “Okay im coming hold on im in the bathroom 1 second”

After examining Sayers’ phone, police determined he first got in touch with Ervin’s girlfriend through an online escort service. The personal ad on that website, included as an image in court documents, lists the Indianapolis east side, provides the phone number that Sayers was texting with and reads, “NO AA NOTHING LOWER THAN 100 100 PERCENT REAL NO LAW ENFORCEMENT I DO NOT SEND PICS FOR MORE INFO AND RATES TXT 317622XXXX,” court documents say.

Police looked at records for that phone number from the TextNow app — which lets users choose their own number and send messages and make calls from tablets and other devices — and found multiple conversations arranging paid sexual encounters. Police found the conversation with Sayers on both Ervin’s phone and his girlfriend’s phone, court documents say.

When police found Ervin’s phone, it appeared to have an unsent message on the screen that said, “Ok hun my porch light is on DC,” court documents say.

An examination of Ervin’s girlfriend’s phone revealed conversations that detectives say detail her “ongoing engagement as a prostitute,” and show that Ervin knew about it and assisted her. In one conversation, she appears to be trying to recruit another person and explains both engaging in sex for money and robbing the people she has sex with. She tells the person, “Okay well i use to sell p—-. now i dont anymore.. I just rob em . we use our pics and get them here and my bd robs them 100 or more no lower and we slipt it 50 50,” court documents say.

When police asked Ervin’s girlfriend what the couple did for money, especially with a newborn, she told them “they were living off their stimulus check,” court documents say.

Detectives spoke to another person who responded to Ervin’s girlfriend’s escort ad. He exchanged texts with the same TextNow number, received the same photo of Ervin’s girlfriend and had agreed to pay $200 in cash in exchange for sex just hours before Sayers’ death, according to court documents.

The man said he was sent the same address on East 19th Street, arrived around 6 p.m. Nov. 30 and waited at the door for about two minutes. That’s when he got a message that said, “Where r u ? R u at my door?” and a man with long dreadlock hair wearing a COVID-style mask and a hooded sweatshirt came from around the side of the building, demanded money and pointed a black handgun at him. The man told police he gave the armed man the cash he had on him, $200, and said he was leaving. He told police he had not reported the incident because of “why he was there,” court documents say.

When shown a photo of Ervin, the man said he could have been the armed man but because of the mask could not be certain, court documents say.

On Tuesday, no court appearance had been listed for Ervin.

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