||| CBS12 |||
A tragic crime where a beautiful and vibrant young woman full of life occurred in Nashville, Tennessee that has family members forever mourning the loss of a young woman.
The trial for the man accused of violently drugging, raping, and murdering Holly Bobo has began in Nashville courtroom.
During the opening statements, the Prosecutor in the case, Paul Hagerman says that Zach Adams confessed to other people that he had drugged Bobo after he kidnapped her then raped her and finally killed her.
The family of the victim heard several bombshells in the courtroom when Hagerman says that a friend of the killer, Jason Autry had met with the murderer after Adams had reached out to him asking for help.
Autry says he had no idea what he would find when arrived, but says he was in shock when Adams had Bobo's body wrapped in a blanket.
Prosecutor Hagerman said that's when Autry took control of the situation, telling Adams that if they instead chose to "gut" the body and toss it into the water it would not float back to the top.
The family of the victim listened in tears as the prosecutor said that when they went to move Bobo's body, she was actually still alive, adding there was "still time for grace.”
Instead authorities claim that Adams retrieved a gun to shoot and kill the woman, but Autry stopped him not to prevent the shooting, but instead to make sure there were no witnesses that could have heard the gunshots.
After they made sure there were no witnesses Prosecutors say Adams fired the fatal shot into Bobo's head, taking her life.
The court heard that Autry told investigators exactly what had taken place during the interrogations of the investigation, which helped place him as a key witness for prosecutors in the trial for Zach Adams.
The prosecution also told the jury that they have statements Adams told others, admitting to and gloating about the murder.
Defense attorneys immediately attempted to counter the allegations against Adams, saying that he did not kidnap, rape, or kill Bobo and wasn't involved.
According to Adam's Defense Attorney Jennifer Thompson, law enforcement in Decatur County and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) responded to Bobo's disappearance in which they were overwhelmed with information in the case.
They were flooded by tips from the community, prompting several individual investigations into different suspects.
Thompson says that due to the various tips and information flooding investigators, it was like trying to "drink water from a fire hydrant."
Thompson cited several people were investigated, including Bobo's brother Clint, as they were unable to find a suspect in the murder.
Yes, the defense attempted to paint the police department as incompetent, in an effort to clear the name of her client.
Absolutely disgusting, this occurs every day in American courtrooms.
Thompson said that in over two years after the crime occurred that the investigators never had anyone to "pin" the crime on, so they focused on her client.
Thompson says it was the most-expensive investigation in the state of Tennessee has ever seen yet police had a "goose egg", or a nonexistent actual suspect.
Thompson says due to heavy pressures for answers from the community, the rising cost of the investigation, and it being an election year for the District Attorney's Office, there was major scrutiny against the police for someone to be arrested.
Thomson claims that the police department under pressure themselves then decided to investigate Dylan Adams, brother to Zach, arresting him and conducting multiple interrogations to try and get him to give up Autry for a crime he hadn't committed.
She says that the entire police investigation was a flop and that her client was unfairly targeted and painted as responsible when he was not.
According to the defense, “police manipulated the low IQ of Zach’s brother Dylan, getting him to confess to a crime he never committed.”
Thompson told the jury even after searching the home of Zach Adams, seizing his vehicles, computers, and other property that there was no physical evidence found that supported Dylan's claims that Zach Adams was involved in the murder of Holly Bobo.
"It was at this point they decided they would buy and pay for somebody's testimony," Thompson says.
With Autry, Adams, and others charged with Bobo's murder and ready to testify and Thompson says the state then made a deal with Autry to lay out a confession which supported the state's claims.
Thompson says” not only does Autry's confession have several inaccuracies in both the physical evidence such as the tracking of their cell phone data, but that information will show the men were not with each other and independent of where Bobo's phone was tracked.”
Thompson closed her statements by saying that “Autry sold his death penalty sentence to the state in hopes to avoid the sentence and serve less time in jail.”
What remains to be seen is who will be convicted of these crimes, but the fact still stands that Holly Bobo was kidnapped by someone, then drugged, and later raped before being brutally murdered and having her body dumped.
I offer thoughts and prayers for family of the victim during these horrendous times as they have to relive the crimes against Holly Bobo.
Let's hope that justice is served.
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