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The man accused of murdering Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo still has not retained an attorney, it was revealed Wednesday, even as he faces an additional charge related to threatening to kill his brother.

Zachary Rye Adams, 29, wasn’t required to appear in Decatur County court, prompting Circuit Judge C. Creed McGinley to announce he would force the suspect to attend future status hearings. An attorney represented Adams in court Wednesday, but the convicted felon hasn’t officially retained her, reported The Jackson Sun.

“Until Mr. Adams is present, I am limited in what I can do,” McGinley said.

The state has refused to begin discovery in the case until Adams retains a lawyer, according to NBC affiliate WSMV.

Adams pleaded not guilty last month for the kidnapping and first-degree murder of Bobo, who was 20 when she vanished from her home in western Tennessee on April 13, 2011.

Authorities have not revealed why they believe Adams is a suspect, and have not said whether they have recovered Bobo’s body.

Adams lived just 15 miles from the Bobo family home.

The case, meanwhile, took another strange turn last week, when a court affidavit revealed Adams was also being charged with witness coercion.

Adams had learned a fellow inmate at Chester County Jail was being transferred to a new jail where Adams’ younger brother is being held, the affidavit reportedly said. Adams then asked the inmate to pass a message to his brother: “He’s the one who started this [expletive] and if he don’t shut his mouth he will be in the hole beside her.”

Adams’ younger brother, John Dylan Adams, is serving time for a stolen firearms charge.

Zachary Adams must attend the next status hearing at 1 p.m. on April 30.

— Erik Ortiz