Judge sets ten­ta­tive date for 2nd trial in stu­dent’s death

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OBITUARIES - BY ADRIAN SAINZ

SA­VAN­NAH, Tenn. — A judge set a ten­ta­tive trial date Tues­day for a man charged with kid­nap­ping, rap­ing and killing a Ten­nessee nurs­ing stu­dent who dis­ap­peared from her ru­ral home more than six years ago.

Judge C. Creed McGin­ley said he plans to hold the trial of John Dy­lan Adams dur­ing the last week of May 2018. Adams is charged in the case of Holly Bobo, who was 20 when she was re­ported miss­ing from her home in Par­sons, Tenn., about

100 miles south­east of Nashville.

Bobo’s dis­ap­pear­ance on April 13, 2011, led to a mas­sive search of the woods, fields and farms of west Ten­nessee, and her case re­ceived na­tional at­ten­tion. Her re­mains were found in Septem­ber 2014 by two gin­seng hunters in woods not far from Bobo’s home in De­catur County.

John Dy­lan Adams is the younger brother of Zachary Adams, who was con­victed of Bobo’s kid­nap­ping, rape and mur­der on Sept. 22 and was sen­tenced the next day to life in prison with­out pa­role plus 50 years. Zachary Adams avoided a pos­si­ble death sen­tence when he reached a deal with prose­cu­tors min­utes be­fore his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing was to be­gin.

Zachary Adams’ jury se­lec­tion and trial was moved from De­catur County to neigh­bor­ing Hardin County be­cause of the in­tense pub­lic­ity the case re­ceived in Bobo’s home county. McGin­ley said he is mak­ing ar­range­ments to hold John Dy­lan Adams’ jury se­lec­tion in Chat­tanooga, lo­cated in Hamil­ton County in south­east Ten­nessee.

The trial would still be held in Hardin County, said Matt Mad­dox, the lawyer for John Dy­lan Adams.

“I can­not get an­other jury in Hardin County,” McGin­ley said.

The judge said he was set­ting a ten­ta­tive trial date for the “day af­ter Me­mo­rial Day,” which is May 29. Jury se­lec­tion would be held the week be­fore, and the panel will be se­questered, the judge said.

Prose­cu­tors have in­di­cated they no longer in­tend to seek the death penalty or life in prison with­out pa­role if John Dy­lan Adams is con­victed, McGin­ley said.

A third man, Ja­son Autry, also is charged with kid­nap­ping, rape and mur­der in the case. Autry tes­ti­fied in Zachary Adams’ trial, telling ju­rors that Adams used graphic de­tails when he told Autry that he, his brother John and friend Shayne Austin raped Bobo.

Autry said he served as a look­out while Zachary Adams shot Bobo un­der a bridge span­ning the Ten­nessee River.

Autry was on a list of wit­nesses of­fered im­mu­nity in the case. He said dur­ing the trial that he tes­ti­fied be­cause he wanted le­niency. Autry’s lawyer has told the judge that a trial does not need to be set for Autry, in­di­cat­ing he has reached a deal with prose­cu­tors.

John Dy­lan Adams’ name came up sev­eral times in his brother’s trial.

Shawn Cooper, who was jailed with Zachary Adams in Ch­ester County af­ter his ar­rest in March 2014, tes­ti­fied Adams threat­ened his own brother for speak­ing about the Bobo case.

Cooper was await­ing trans­fer to the Obion County Jail on a sep­a­rate case when he says Zachary Adams told him he was in­volved in the “Holly Bobo mur­der case.”

Cooper said Adams told him his brother was be­ing held in Obion County Jail. Adams then asked him to re­lay to John Dy­lan Adams that he should stay quiet or he would “put him in a hole be­side her,” Cooper said.

The Ten­nessee Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion has said the Bobo in­ves­ti­ga­tion was the most ex­haus­tive and ex­pen­sive in the agency’s his­tory.

KEN­NETH CUM­MINGS/THE JACK­SON SUN VIA AP

As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Paul Hager­man talks with Karen and Dana Bobo, par­ents of Holly Bobo, on Tues­day at the con­clu­sion of a hear­ing for John Dy­lan Adams, on Tues­day, in Sa­van­nah, Tenn.

Holly Bobo John Dy­lan Adams

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