FIRST ON WITN: No Bond For Cold Case Murder Suspect

A Craven County judge refused to set a bond for a man wanted in two murders, including one that happened in New Bern 34 years ago.

Andrew Adams made a brief court appearance before a district judge in New Bern this morning. Inside that courtroom was the daughter of Gwendolyn Nelson, who was only four years old when her mom was raped and murdered.

Adams was charged earlier this week for the cold case death of Nelson. The woman's body was found near an elementary school cafeteria in New Bern on June 29th, 1977.

Adams was arrested late last week for an unrelated murder of a Wilmington woman. Her body was found buried in a backyard.

Friday was the first time Kindell Mitchell has seen the man accused of killing her mother. "It felt like I was actually at a horror movie," Mitchell said of her experience in the courtroom. "The man, he looks like he's a true demon."

Mitchell's mom was just 17 years old when she was raped and murdered outside of the old F.R. Danyus Elementary School in New Bern. "How could a man do something that evil to a young lady knowing, whether or not she had family or had a child. I mean it just broke my heart to actually see him."

New Bern police say Adams was questioned back when the case was active, but there wasn't enough evidence against him back then. The woman's murder case was reopened five years ago, about the same time Adams was released from prison after serving time for a rape conviction.

This morning District Attorney Scott Thomas asked the judge not set a bond for Adams. The Wilmington man is being represented by James Payne in both cases.

The maximum penalty Adams faces if convicted is the death penalty. "At this point in time, over 35, I mean 35 years. Death penalty. That's what he needs," the victim's daughter told us after the hearing.

Adams' next court date in Craven County is February 3rd.

Previous Story

A woman who was just four years old when her mother was raped and murdered speaks to WITN about a break in the case 34 years later.

Authorities say Andrew Adams has been charged with the 1977 rape and murder of Gwendolyn Nelson of New Bern. Adams is a registered sex offender with a history of rape and attempted rape convictions.

Last week he was arrested for murdering a Wilmington woman and burying her body in a backyard.

Warrants in Craven County say the murder happened in June 1977.

Nelson's daughter was four years old at the time of her mother's death. Kindell Mitchell, who lives in Shelby, said she found out in 2006 that her mom's murder case had been reopened. "I was excited because out of all my time that I actually knew about the case I was excited because I was actually going to get closure," said Mitchell.

Nelson was found dead on June 29, 1977 near the cafeteria of F.R. Danyus School on West Street. That building is now a Headstart center.

New Bern police say the case went cold after several years, but was reopened about five years ago, hoping to uncover new leads.

Police say Adams was recently developed as a suspect, and had already been conferring with Wilmington police when last week's murder happened. New Bern police say evidence has now been obtained that links Adams to Nelson's murder.

The 55-year-old Adams was charged in Wilmington with last week's murder of Latricia Scott. The 24-year-old woman's body was found last Friday.

Adams has a criminal record dating back to 1973. He has convictions from Craven, Greene and New Hanover counties. He was last released five years ago on a rape conviction.

A search warrant for Adams' Wilmington home says the man had been convicted of five rapes in New Bern and four in Wilmington.

Authorities in Craven County say Adams remains jailed in New Hanover County and they expect him to be brought to New Bern for a first appearance later this week or early next week.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Giants Location: enc on Jan 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
    This man looks like a Psychopath point blank. He should rot in Jail.
  • by Shine Location: NE NC on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
    Stetch him out lizard length... then. What a wonderful opportunity.
  • by Kook Killer Location: Local on Jan 20, 2012 at 02:50 PM
    This is why I carry concealed. If scum like this can walk among decent folk raping killing and otherwise victimizing innocent people I would put him out of his miserable life with a double tap and sleep good at night should he decide to add me or one of my loved ones to his hit list.
  • by G-MAN Location: greenville on Jan 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM
  • by Summer on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM
    After looking at his convictions I can't help but to wonder how he was even free to roam our streets? The last murder could have been prevented and if I was that woman's family I would be ticked that our justice system let this man out to rape and murder yet again. It did not have to happen. Smh.
  • by Ron Location: Pitt County on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
    Go to NC Offender Search and read his record. Most glaring stupidity is that he was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for rape in 1993 and was released after six years. Revolving door! His rape record goes back to 1973.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM
    I wish you could send some people to hell instead of jail.
  • by nightrain on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:30 AM
    Just another example of out justice system letting us down. If I broke someone out of prison and they proceded to kill, rape, etc., I would be charged as an alibi. Every time a judge and/or attorney help someone get out early, it's okay.
    • reply
      by Summer on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM in reply to nightrain
      U talking right. Yep.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM in reply to nightrain
      It's called an accessory, not an alibi.
  • by Myrtle Location: Trenton on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:12 AM
    No bond set? With this man's criminal record? Way to go DA and Judge....
  • by Disgusted Location: NC on Jan 18, 2012 at 08:15 PM
    Before yall jump down my throat, I DO NOT condone drug dealing, BUT, for the life of me>>>> how does a small time dealer get 10, 20 yrs or even life and this man with his continual criminal record WALK the streets to keep on raping and killing?? I'm just sayin" !!!
    • reply
      by c-had on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM in reply to Disgusted
      Right.It makes no sense at all.

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