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A teenager who killed her mother last year testified Thursday that her boyfriend threatened to break up with her if she didn't do it.
The boyfriend, 19-year-old Eddie Wayne Chewning, is on trial in Stafford Circuit Court for his role in the July 5 slaying of 62-year-old Brenda Dye.
Dye was killed with a shotgun inside her home on Perry Road in southern Stafford. Ashleigh Nicole Dye, her daughter, has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a firearms charge.
Ashleigh Dye is 18 but was 17 at the time of the slaying.
Chewning is charged with being an accessory to first-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. His jury trial started Wednesday and is expected to wrap up today.
Ashleigh Dye, who is in the Rappahannock Regional Jail awaiting sentencing next month, was called as a "hostile" witness by defense attorneys Robin Krueger and Jim Ilijevich.
Most of her testimony was detrimental to her former boyfriend, but the defense apparently wanted the jury to hear her early statements in which she claimed Chewning had nothing to do with the slaying.
"Now you've changed your mind," Krueger said to Dye at one point.
"Now I'm telling the truth," Dye responded.
According to the evidence, Dye and Chewning had been dating about seven months when Brenda Dye was killed.
Both in taped interviews described Brenda Dye as "nagging" and disapproving of their relationship.
Ashleigh Dye said that about two weeks prior to the slaying, her mother caused her to miscarry by hitting her in the stomach.
Prosecutors Michael Hardiman and Ed Lustig pointed out that there are no medical records indicating that Dye was ever pregnant.
The final straw, Ashleigh Dye said in the taped interviews, came when her mother told her she wished she'd been aborted.
Shortly before the slaying, Dye said, she hatched what she described as KBM--"Kill B---- Mom."
She said she and Chewning stopped in a church parking lot late July 4 to plan the killing.
She said Chewning gave her several options, including slitting her mother's throat and cutting her into small pieces and disposing of them.
The miscarriage and Brenda Dye's supposed interference in their relationship were reasons cited for the plan.
Ashleigh Dye decided to use a shotgun to shoot her mother in the face and chest, then ransack the house to make it look like a robbery.
"I thought I was in love," she said in one of the court papers. "Turns out it was just my mind being manipulated by him."
Krueger suggested that Ashleigh Dye was carrying out her own fantasy by killing her mother and was implicating Chewning because she's upset with him.
The other key evidence presented against Chewning is a series of text messages he and Dye exchanged the day of the murder. Detective Michelle Gibbons was on the stand for more than three hours Thursday testifying about the messages and her interviews with Chewning.
Gibbons said Chewning acknowledged that he could have stopped Dye from killing her mother, but didn't.
When she asked Chewing why he didn't, he replied: "I felt the same way Ashleigh did and I was tired of hearing her [complain] every day."
In an interview with Gibbons that was played in court Thursday, Chewning said Brenda Dye treated her daughter "like a 5-year-old kid."
Chewning repeatedly said he did not understand why he was being charged.
He told Gibbons that the final straw occurred the day before the slaying, when Brenda Dye wanted to go to an Independence Day fireworks show with the couple.
Ashleigh Dye wanted to be alone with him, Chewning testified. After an argument, the mother decided not to go, he said.
The young couple spent much of the next day text messaging each other about a plan for Ashleigh to kill her mother, with Chewning at one point texting, "Stop talking about it and do it."
Chewning was at work in Northern Virginia with Ashleigh Dye's father and brother while text messaging with her.
Chewning said at one point in the interview that he did try to talk Dye out of it, but was unsuccessful.
"She didn't want her mom to control her anymore," he said.
Perhaps the most emotional evidence the jury heard yesterday came from a taped interview Detective Chris Cameron had with Ashleigh Dye.
After Ashleigh Dye confessed that she'd killed her mother, Cameron made her break the news to her father.
"I'm so sorry," a sobbing Dye said. "I shouldn't have done it. She didn't deserve this."
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404