FERRIER FILES: Day-by-day synopsis of the Holly Bobo trial, conviction & sentencing


I have been covering the Holly Bobo case since 2011.

The shocking case of the beautiful rural Tennessee nursing student abducted in her own backyard. It has been called the most expensive, exhaustive investigation in state history.

Here are my stories from the trial each day in order. I think it captures the essence of what happened.

Day 1

We learn that the prosecution does not have classic physical evidence. They suggest there is no DNA or ballistics. They do suggest that some very bad men are witnesses.

Day 2

A day where the prosecution simply wanted to establish that Holly Bobo was kidnapped, raped and murdered.

Our first witness to quote Zach Adams.

Day 3

We learn how Holly Bobo’s remains were finally discovered. It is a sad and hopeless day. But important for what we are about to hear.

Day 4

The star witness takes the stand for the prosecution. A man who admitted he was capable of much evil. An unnerving almost perfect remembered narrative of a murder.

Day 5

The TBI admits it made huge mistakes in the investigation.

A former drug dealer very convincingly corroborates Jason Autry’s testimony.

Day 6

Cellphone pings are used to support Jason Autry’s statement. And give some information about the final moments of Holly.

Day 7

The prosecution ends with a parade of witnesses all with testimony that Zach Adams confessed to them in some way.

Day 8

The defense suggests that the prosecution has the wrong man! Surprisingly, they use the former lead TBI agent on the case to make their case.

Day 9

The defense has two big ideas that it believes should stop the jury from convicting Zach Adams:

1) Terry Britt killed Holly but a bumbling TBi missed it

2) Cellphone records show Holly and Zach's phone were rarely in the same place the day of the kidnapping

Day 10

Closing arguments are all about persuasion there are no new facts -- think of it as a roadmap of facts leading to the truth. Who's roadmap do you believe is accurate?

Day 11 - The verdict

The verdict is in! After 10 hours, two questions and a request for a dry erase board. The jury is ready.

Day 12 - The sentencing

Today was supposed to be about whether the jury decides to give Zach Adams the death penalty or life in prison. But in yet another surprise. The Bobo family intercedes.

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