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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A man charged with killing a young mother last year was back in court this morning for a hearing that could determine how his murder case will move forward.

Andrew Bernard Adams is accused of the January 2012 murder of 24-year-old Latricia Scott. The 56-year-old’s criminal history goes back decades and includes rape and assault convictions.

His lawyer broke down what a mental retardation finding could mean in this case.

“In the posture of how it proceeds, if he is mentally retarded, which we believe that he is, then the state would not be able to execute him or proceed against him for the death penalty,” defense attorney James Payne said.

The judge ruled adams will go to Raleigh for psychiatric evaluations by the state.

Adams also faces charges in a 1977 rape and murder case in Craven County.

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