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SAVANNAH, Tenn. (AP) — A jury will resume deliberating a verdict in the tense trial of a man charged with kidnapping and fatally shooting Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo.
The sequestered panel of 12 people began considering physical evidence and witness testimony Thursday in the trial of Zachary Adams in Savannah, Tennessee. They deliberated 3 ½ hours and will resume Friday morning — the trial’s 11th day.
Adams has pleaded not guilty to abducting, raping and killing Bobo. She was 20 when she walked into the woods behind her family’s house with an unidentified man wearing camouflage and disappeared on April 13, 2011.
Her remains were found 3 ½ years later, near her home in Parsons.
Judge C. Creed McGinley moved the trial to Hardin County in search of an unbiased jury.
Bobo’s disappearance sparked a massive search in the fields, barns and woods of western Tennessee, and the case received national attention. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said the investigation was the most exhaustive and expensive in the agency’s history.
Two other men, Jason Autry and Adams’ brother, John Dylan Adams, also are charged with kidnapping, raping and killing Bobo. Autry, who was on the list of witnesses who had been offered immunity in the case, testified during the trial. Autry said he was seeking leniency in return for his testimony.
Autry said Adams used graphic details when he told Autry that he, his brother and friend Shayne Austin raped Bobo in Austin’s grandmother’s barn. Autry said he injected himself with morphine and methamphetamine before he served as a lookout as Adams shot Bobo under a bridge spanning the scenic Tennessee River.
Austin had reached an immunity agreement that depended on Bobo’s body being recovered from the place where Austin said it was buried. The deal was rescinded after prosecutors said he wasn’t truthful. Austin was found dead in a Florida hotel room in what police said was an apparent suicide in February 2015.
Autry already knew of evidence accumulated in the case when he told investigators his story in January 2017 — about three years after he and Zachary Adams were charged, defense attorney Jennifer Thompson said during closing arguments Thursday.
Autry was too “street smart” to allow himself to be manipulated into helping Adams dispose of Bobo’s body, Thompson said, and challenged details of his story.
Thompson said Autry sold his death penalty to the government.
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