Court hearings are scheduled to begin Monday to hear evidence as to whether a jury was impartial when it convicted Bennie Adams of raping, robbing, and murdering Youngstown State University student Gina Tenney in 1985.

Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Anthony Donofrio has set aside Monday and Tuesday for the hearing ordered by a federal judge who found that jurors deliberating the case in 2008 may have somehow known about Adams’s conviction of a separate rape, kidnapping, and robbery.

The court must determine if jury members knew of the prior conviction, then decide if it impacted their verdict.

The defense has called for testimony from Dr. Bryan Edelman, an expert in pre-trial publicity.  Just how much of that testimony the court hears depends on if it is determined that the jury knew about Adams's past crimes.

It was back in 2007 when Adams was arrested for the 1985 rape, robbery, and murder of the YSU student, twenty-two years after the crime.

Investigators say Adams had always been a suspect, but DNA evidence preserved by Youngstown Police Detectives during those years was tested and proved to be a match.

In 2008 Adams was convicted of killing the 19-year-old YSU sophomore.

At the time of his conviction, he was sentenced to death.

The Ohio Supreme Court later upheld his conviction -- but dismissed the death sentence saying the state failed to prove the aggravated burglary charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

A burglary conviction was needed to obtain a death penalty conviction.

Adams, who professed his innocence, was resentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

The parents of the victim passed away sometime after Adams was convicted. But in a written statement the victim's sister Rhonda Tenney Reed had this to say in a letter to the court:  "What gave you the right to take her life? Your disregard for human life is heinous, vile, and evil, as are you. I watched my parents grieve for Gina for the rest of their lives. They visited her grave every single day of their lives until they could no longer do so."