Zach Adams to appeal conviction in Holly Bobo murder trial

Photos: Zach Adams Sentenced To Life In Prison
Posted at 3:13 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 21:11:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The man convicted of killing Holly Bobo could get a second day in court.

There are new developments on the status of Zach Adams’ appeal and the very real possibility he could get a new trial.

Now in most all life sentences the defense always appeals. Rarely, do such appeals succeed. But in the Holly Bobo case, legal experts say there are some significant issues for the Appellate Court to explore.

"It would be malpractice not to appeal a case where somebody gets life in prison without possibility of parole," said Zach Adams’ attorney Jennifer Thompson.

Now – nearly two years after the trial – that is exactly what she is doing, planning the appeal.

"It's standard attorney procedure," said Thompson.

A jury found her client Adams guilty of first-degree murder in the high-profile Holly Bobo trial in 2017.

The case against him was almost entirely circumstantial and hinged heavily on the testimony of co-defendant, Jason Autry.

In chilling testimony at trial, he told the jury Adams killed Bobo and Autry admitted he helped dispose of her 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," testified Autry at trail.

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


Legal expert Jim Todd says there's a reason prosecutors are in no hurry to resolve the case against their ace witness.

"As the state is concerned that if the case is reversed and, in my opinion there is a strong likelihood of that, they'll need him again,” Todd said.

So, what are the grounds for a new trial?

Todd believes there were clear instances of improper testimony jurors never should have heard.

For instance, testimony linking Adams to prior incidents, including drug use and past arrests. The Appellate Court may well determine such testimony tainted the jury verdict.

The bottom line: The Bobo case is far from closed.

"No, that case is not over. Still planning on the appeal," said Thompson.

The appeal could be filed before the end of the summer.

The defense is simply waiting for the court to provide the full transcripts of all testimony that will be used to make their case. Once the appeal is filed, it will take several months for the Appellate Court to respond.

If a new trial is granted it likely would now come before sometime late next year.