CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A man charged for murdering a 24-year-old woman in Wilmington earlier this month and another woman in 1977 made a brief court appearance Friday morning.
According to WITN, District Attorney Scott Thomas asked the judge not to set a bond for 55-year-old Andrew Adams. The judge complied and refused to set a bond for Adams.
If convicted, Adams could spend the rest of his life behind bars. His next court date is scheduled for February 3.
Adams was charged with murdering Latricia Scott in Wilmington and burying her body in the backyard of a home on Cowan Street. Scott's body was found last Friday.
After evidence was collected in Wilmington, New Bern detectives were called and they officially charged Adams with a cold case from June 1977, according to New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David.
The City of New Bern issued a press release Wednesday saying Gwendolyn Nelson was the victim of the crime in June 1977.
Nelson was found dead near the cafeteria outside F.R. Danyus School in New Bern. According to autopsy results, blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.
"As a law enforcement officer, it's one of those things that you never forget," said New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers, Jr. "Cold cases haunt you. You know that was someone's relative and you want justice for the family. I commend our guys and the help of the Wilmington Police Department, the SBI, the U.S. Marshals, and the two district attorneys in cracking this case."
According to Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas, Adams faces separate first degree murder and first degree rape charges in New Bern for the death of Nelson.
Thomas also said New Bern police issued an arrest warrant for those charges on January 14, 2012. WECT obtained copies of the search warrant used by Wilmington Police officers to arrest Adams.
The report shows that a Wilmington Police detective found a cooler at the dead end of Fourth Street last week.
Detectives found men's clothing and pillow cases inside the cooler. The items had blood stains on them, according to the report.
It also states that detectives found sheets with the same blood stains at Adams' home at 1115 Cowan street, which is the same place detectives found Scott's body.
Scott's family appeared in court Tuesday as well.
Adams is being held without bond and is due back in court in February.
A decision has not been made yet about whether or not the DA's office will seek the death penalty. David and a panel of senior assistant district attorneys will decide as a group after Adams is indicted.
David said that given the multiple charges, the panel will most likely seek the death penalty.
According to the City of New Bern, Adams is a registered sex offender. State records show he has served many years in prison for various offenses. Most recently he was in prison from 1979-2007 for sex offenses convictions in Craven and New Hanover counties.
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See photos from the scene.