SAVANNAH, Tenn. – A man convicted of killing Holly Bobo avoided the death penalty Saturday after accepting a sentence that will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life—plus 50 years.
Zachary Adams Convicted
Zachary Adams, 33, was found guilty Friday in the kidnapping, rape and murder of the 20-year-old Tennessee nursing student in 2011. Her skeletal remains were found three years after she disappeared.
Victim’s Mother Confronts Killer
“I would like for Mr. Adams to look at me.”
Hence, those were Karen Bobo’s words from the stand Saturday, in the final day of the trial of the man now convicted of abducting, raping and murdering her 20-year-old daughter, Holly Lynn Bobo in 2011, reported The Jackson Sun.
Karen, who took the stand to give her final words to the jury, looked at Adams, demanding he face the mother of the woman a jury convicted him of killing.
“I know that my daughter fought and fought hard for her life,” she told him.
And when Adams tried to look away, Karen ordered his attention.
“I want you to look at me,” she said again, before telling him she knew what her daughter did the morning she died.
“I know that she begged for her life because my daughter loved and enjoyed her life, but you chose to take that from her, and you have shown absolutely no remorse for anything that you have done,” Bobo said to Adams.
And Adams had to listen.
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— USA TODAY Video (@usatodayvideo) September 23, 2017
Judge Announces Sentencing Agreement
Therefore, Judge C. Creed McGinley told a jury Saturday that Adams made a deal with prosecutors just minutes ahead of his sentencing hearing, reported Fox News.
So, under the agreement, Adams received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder. Moreover, in addition to the life sentence he received consecutive terms of 25 years for the crimes of kidnapping and rape.
McGinley told the jury that the deal with Adams was reached with “some reluctance.”
The judge asked Adams if he voluntarily agreed to the deal that may have saved his life.
“Yes sir,” Adams responded in a near muted voice.
As Karen Bobo addressed the jury, she said her daughter was a loving person who “appreciated the small things in life.”
“She was the sweetest soul I ever knew,” the forlorn mother said.
“This decision that was made this morning had absolutely nothing to do with that animal,” she said. “It had to do with the future of our family.”
Holly Bobo Disappeared in 2011
Holly Bobo disappeared from her home in rural Parsons on April 13, 2011.
On Sept. 7, 2014, two men in the woods came across the skeletal remains of what would be later identified as the nursing student. Her body was discovered about 400 yards into the woods in northern Decatur County, approximately 20 miles away from her parents’ home.
Bobo’s disappearance led to a massive search of the farms, fields and barns of western Tennessee. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said that the Bobo investigation was the most exhaustive and expensive in the agency’s history.
Yet the investigation relied firmly on testimony from friends and jail inmates who said Adams spoke of harming Bobo. This was necessary since there was no DNA evidence connecting the now convicted killer to Holly Bobo.
The trial in Savannah, Tenn., lasted 11 days.
Photo of the day. Bobo family and friends gather in prayer after verdict announcement pic.twitter.com/kxPJWZwfUs
— Holly Bobo 1990-2011 (@Justice4Holly) September 23, 2017
However, two other men, Jason Autry and Adams’ brother, John Dylan Adams, also face charges of kidnapping, rape and murder.
The prosecutor used Autry to testify against Adams. He told jurors that Adams told him that he, his brother and their friend Shayne Austin had raped Bobo. Autry also said that he served as a lookout as Adams shot Bobo near a river on the day she was reported missing.
So, Autry was on a list of witnesses who were offered immunity in the case. Consequently, he said he testified because he wanted leniency.
Autry’s lawyer has told the judge that a trial does not need to be set for Autry. In other words, he indicated they’ve reached a deal with prosecutors. A trial date has not been set for John Dylan Adams.
Mother Finally Able to Smile
“I had never seen Dana Bobo smile until yesterday,” prosecutor Jennifer Nichols said.
Now, a family who has been through a painful six-year experience can finally begin to rebuild.
“We didn’t realize what families went through, had no idea. I just don’t think anyone can possibly even begin to understand what you go through,” Karen Bobo said.
(Photo: Screenshot Fox News broadcast)