Zach Adams, one of the men accused of kidnapping, raping and killing Holly Bobo, was found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated rape on Friday.
Adams, 33, will be sentenced on Saturday, where a jury will reconvene to decide if he will be give the death penalty, according to The Jackson Sun. He was found guilty of all eight charges against him.
Bobo, a 20-year-old Tennessee nursing student, was found dead in the woods in 2014, 3 ½ years after she was taken from outside of her family’s semi-rural Decatur County home on April 13, 2011.
Adams is the first of three men to go to trial in the killing of Bobo. Jason Autry and John Dylan Adams (Zach’s brother) were also charged; all three men pled not guilty.
Mark Gwyn, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director, said in a statement Friday that he hoped the verdict would bring closure to Bobo’s family, according to the Sun.
“Since the start of this investigation, our priority has been to pursue justice for the family and friends of Holly Bobo,” he said. “Today, though we are gratified by the jury’s verdict, our thoughts remain with them.”
In mid-September, Autry testified that he acted as a lookout for Adams while his friend fired a bullet at Bobo that killed her.
“I need you to help bury this body,” Autry said, repeating the words Adams spoke to him at the time.
According to the Associated Press, Autry was on a list of witnesses who were offered immunity in the case. Autry said he testified because he was seeking leniency, the AP reports.
Autry’s lawyer indicated to the judge in the case that he had reached a deal with prosecutors, while a trial date for John Adams has not been set, according to the AP.
Prosecutor Paul Hagerman said Autry’s testimony had been “corroborated, corroborated, and corroborated again,” according to CBS News.
“She was never gonna come out of that blanket alive, not a chance,” Hagerman said. “[Autry] knew just how guilty he was, just how guilty they all were – and for years, he kept his secret.”
Bobo’s family was present throughout the trial, with her mother breaking down in tears as she testified.
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