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Ex-con accused of killing teacher ruled competent for prosecution

24-year-old charged with murder, burglary, car theft in teacher's death

Adam Lawson Jr. in court Tuesday, Oct. 24
Adam Lawson Jr. in court Tuesday, Oct. 24

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 24-year-old ex-convict charged in the home invasion beating death of a beloved elementary school music teacher has been ruled competent for prosecution. 

Adam Lawson Jr. is accused of killing 62-year-old Deborah Liles, a mother of five children and a grandmother, in her Panama Park home in late March.

Lawson's lawyer asked the judge for the mental evaluation months ago.

In court Monday, after getting the report from a psychologist, both sides agreed he was able to assist in his own defense. 

Lawson's next pretrial hearing is Jan. 23.