New Lawyers To Be Added To Holly Bobo Case

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 00:32:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There are new developments in the fight to execute Holly Bobo's accused killers.

A major shake-up is underway just weeks after prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty. Those close to the case say it means significant new delays and a big shift in the legal approach for the defense.

According to experts, death penalty cases are infinitely more complex to prosecute or defend.

Newschannel 5 has learned all three suspects-- Zack Adams, his brother Dylan and Jason Autry, will shake up their legal teams and add new lawyers.

The official announcements are expected next month.

Why the change?

"You would have to be a death qualified attorney. There are a lot of things you would have to do to be eligible to try a capital case," said Newschannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

These lawyers must have five years of criminal trial experience  along with six hours of specialized training in death penalty law.

They must also have handled at least one jury trial involving a capital case.

Timeline Of Holly Bobo Case

These death qualified lawyers don't come cheap. They make nearly double the rate the state pays for other lawyers of indigent clients.

Why the high standard?

Legal analyst Nick Leonardo said the state can't risk a verdict overturned on claims of ineffective counsel.

"It cost so much to bring these case. The last thing you want to do is try the case twice," said Leonardo.

But first you have to get the case to trial once and that doesn't look to happen anytime soon. The attorneys the Adams brothers and Autry add are going to need time to prepare.

"New lawyers getting involved must get up to speed on the case," said Leonardo.

The judge in this case will review and likely approve the requests for the new attorneys and then they will have to start cold reviewing the thousands of pages and boxes of evidence and that's going to take time.

Holly Bobo went missing from her Parsons home in 2011. The nursing student's partial remains were discovered in September 2014 in a wooded part of Decatur County.

The three suspects were charged last year, but are no closer to a trial.

The next hearing is not scheduled until August 26th.