A prosecutor described in graphic item Thursday the last hours of Holly Bobo’s life, telling jurors about how she was strike and “gang-raped” before being photograph in the head at point-blank array by the man on trial for her murder.
“They rent Holly’s invests off — her blue jeans and her panties — and one by one they lined up, ” prosecutor Jennifer Nichols told jurors in closing assertions. “They took turns.”
“That’s what she went through her last morning on land. Then she was murdered — plain and simple, ” Nichols said, before holding up an image of Holly’s skull in one hand and a photo of the ray, blonde-haired nursing student in the other.
Nichols’ texts inferred the prosecution’s closing controversy in their case against Zachary Adams, who is on trial for kidnapping, raping and assassinating the woman. Bobo was 20 years old when she was taken by a stranger outside her family’s rural home in Darden, Tenn ., on April 13, 2011, investigators. Her incomplete stands turned up in lumbers near Adams’ home — about 10 miles to the north — in September 2014.
Jurors started deliberating Thursday afternoon. If imprisoned of assassinate, Adams could face the death penalty.
Prosecutors said three other mortals took part in the atrocity: Jason Autry, a co-defendant who vouched in detail about his character in the murder, John “Dylan” Adams, the defendant’s friend, and Shane Austin, who committed suicide in 2015.
Zachary Adams, 33, has pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree murder, extremely exasperated kidnap and aggravated crime. In closing assertions, defense attorney Jennifer Thompson told jurors that Adams is “one hundred percent innocent of the charges he faces in this case.”
Thompson, who spoke for nearly two hours, said the prosecution’s conjecture was “full of holes” and claimed there was no evidence directly associating Adams to the murder.
“The examples in criminal matters law are not about what is possible, but what is provable without a rational fear, ” Thompson said in her closing statement.
Autry had testified that Adams asked for his help in setting Bobo’s body. The two men drove to the Tennessee River with Bobo wrapped in a rug in the back of a station wagon, according to Autry. The schedule, he told jurors, was to “gut her” and “put her in the deep end” of river so that her body would not swim to the water’s skin-deep. But when Bobo — who was thought to be dead — moved her hoof and made a noise, Adams killed her in the pate as Autry formed sure no one else was watching, he testified.
Thompson called Autry’s version of occasions “ridiculous” and claimed he concocted a lie so the commonwealth would not strove the death penalty in his case.
“Jason Autry has sold his death penalty to the government, ” Thompson said. “The only price he had to pay was this fish story he came up with in January.”
Thompson said the man responsible for Bobo’s murder is Terry Britt, a convicted gender wrongdoer known locally as “Chester the Molester” who was at one considered a suspect by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Earlier Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman said Adams described the murder weapon to a fellow inmate before it was known to investigators and had “cracks in the secret” from the beginning.
The inmate, Shawn Cooper, indicated that Adams asked him in March 2014 to tell two brothers to “keep his lip shut” or he would “put him in a defect beside her.”
At the time, both he and Cooper were being held at the Chester County Jail in separate suits. Cooper was awaiting delivery to Obion County Jail, where Adams’ friend was being held.
“He said, ‘I’m not fretted because they got no mas and they got no firearm, ‘” Hagerman quoted Adams as saying at the time.
The alleged assassinate weapon — a. 32 stature shoot — was not found by investigates until early 2017, Hagerman memo to jurors. Bobo’s remains were found in September 2014, six months after the alleged discussion between Adams and Cooper.
“Who knew in March 2014 that she had been shot? ” Hagerman said. “Her body hadn’t been found.”