Key witness who helped convict Holly Bobo's killer won't testify again

Jason Autry says he won't take the stand if there's a new trial on appeal
PHOTOS: Day Four Of Holly Bobo Murder Trial
Posted at 1:13 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 19:34:15-04

PARSONS, Tenn. (WTVF) — New details tonight in the high-profile Holly Bobo murder case.

Zach Adams is seeking a new trial and now the man who helped put him away says he won't cooperate if that happens.

Jason Autry was key to the prosecution, and without his damaging testimony, it is very likely Adams would not have been convicted.

Adams was convicted in 2017 for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Holly Bobo and is serving a life sentence.

There was little physical evidence directly linking Adams to the crime, but Autry cut a deal testifying he witnessed Adams shoot Bobo and then he helped dispose of the body.

"I grabbed the upper torso of Ms. Bobo. Zach left the tailgate down. I brought the torso to the tailgate where he grabbed the legs," Autry testified at trial.

"He was convicted solely on the testimony of an accomplice -- Mr. Autry," said NewsChannel 5 Legal Analyst Nick Leonardo.

Now, Adams' lawyer has filed a 200 page brief with the appellate court arguing among other things, that Autry lied.

If Adams is granted a new trial Leonardo said Autry will again be the key.

"I think Autry was the case," said Leonardo.

But in his letter to NewsChannel 5 Autry writes: "I wish I would never have took the stand."

And if Adams' conviction is overturned, he said, "I will not be back in court to testify."

He did not say why.

"I think it's a huge problem for the prosecution," said Leonardo.

Maybe so, but Autry is a confirmed liar having denied any involvement to NewsChannel 5 in an exclusive interview before the trial.

"Did you kidnap and kill Holly Bobo? Were you part of that?"

"By no means, Nick, did I bother that girl," said Autry back in 2014.

Autry either lied there or later at trial.

Was his testimony truthful and will he be called to tell his story again?

If there's a new trial the prosecution will need Autry, but there is no guarantee that the Appellate Court will grant Adams one.

A decision is expected before the end of the year.

Autry is currently serving time in federal prison on a gun charge unrelated to the Bobo case.