Holly Bobo's convicted killer, Zach Adams, seeks new trial

Experts say potential mistakes at trial may open door
Photos: Zach Adams Sentenced To Life In Prison
Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 20:46:17-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Zach Adams was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Holly Bobo. That was more than two years ago, and now, his formal appeal is about to be filed.

Does he stand a chance? Those close to the case say there is a very real possibility Adams could get a new trial.

"It would be malpractice not to appeal a case where somebody gets life in prison without possibility of parole," Adams' attorney Jennifer Thompson said not long after his conviction in 2017.

"I think there is a greater than 50 percent chance that this case could be retried for one or a series of potential errors that occurred," legal analyst Nick Leonardo said.

Leonardo co-anchored Newschannel 5's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Bobo trial. He recalls instances where improper testimony could have tainted the jury's verdict. "There was discussion about seeing drugs in the Adams' place. That can be prejudicial."

Adams was convicted of first degree murder. The case against him was almost entirely circumstantial and hinged heavily on the testimony of co-defendant Jason Autry.

Many believe he cut a deal for his testimony, but today he still remains locked up.

Why? "Autry is still in jail because the prosecution doesn't have faith in the conviction at trial holding up at the appellate level," Leonardo said. In other words, Autry remains locked up -- at least in part -- because he may be needed to testify again if the appellate court orders a new trial.

It's not clear why it's taken so long for the defense to file this appeal.

Of course there was a lengthy transcript of all testimony for lawyers to review. But, the court has now ordered that the appeal be filed soon, so the process can begin.

Once the appeal is officially filed, it could take several months before the higher court makes a decision.