SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — The man arrested in the 1980 rape and killing of 14-year-old Ronda Mechelle Blaylock will spend at least 21 years behind bars.
On Thursday, Robert James Adkins, 64, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree rape.
Adkins was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 25 years in prison.
The judge indicated there was an aggravating factor, in that Adkins was either armed with or used a deadly weapon in the crime.
Ronda was a ninth-grade student at Atkins High School when her parents reported her missing on Aug. 29, 1980.
She and a friend got into a blue pickup outside of a bowling alley in Rural Hall. Three days later, her body was found in the woods off Secrest Loop Road in Surry County.
The medical examiner determined Ronda had been stabbed to death.
Adkins was arrested on Aug. 2, 2019.