Man Pleads Guilty To 1977 Murder & Rape Of New Bern Mother

A man who authorities say confessed to a cold case murder that happened thirty-five years ago pleaded guilty today to those crimes.

In a Craven County courtroom this morning, Andrew Adams made the guilty pleas before a judge.

He admitted raping and killing Gwendolyn Nelson of New Bern. Her body was found near the cafeteria of F.R. Danyus School back in 1977.

Late last month, Adams pleaded guilty in New Hanover County for the murder of a Cape Fear Community College student. He was given life without parole in that case.

Adams this morning was given two additional life sentences to run concurrent with the New Hanover County life sentence.

The Nelson murder was a cold case until Adams was arrested for the Wilmington murder. When he admitted to the murder last year, and asked why, Adams said he did it because he had the opportunity to.

The woman's daughter and family were in the courtroom today. Kindell Mitchell says this day has been a long time in coming.

Mitchell addressed the court tearfully, saying this if finally closure for the family, "I love you and miss you and don't know why he had to kill you . I wish you could be here to see me and your grand kids. It has been a tough 36 years."