Dylan Adams won’t face death penalty in Holly Bobo case; trial set for May

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — John Dylan Adams, one of the defendants accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering nursing student Holly Bobo, will not face the death penalty when he returns for his trial next year.

Adams was in court for a status hearing Tuesday and Judge C. Creed McGinley tentatively set a trial date for May 29. His next hearing is set for 10 a.m. Dec. 14.

"I have moved this case as quickly as I could considering the huge amounts of discovery," McGinley said. "Well over 100 agents worked on this and it's just mountains of discovery."

The next jury could come from from Chattanooga, where there has been relatively little coverage of the case, the judge said.

With the state taking the death penalty off the table, Adams faces a life sentence of 51 years if convicted.

The judge said he’ll be setting a cut-off date soon for when both sides could reach a plea agreement instead of going to trial.

Bobo’s loved ones didn’t want to talk about that today, but they were the ones who asked that Zach Adams be sentenced to life instead of death after his conviction.

“We're here for the long haul, whatever it takes. However long it takes. We believe it's headed in the right direction," said pastor Don Franks, a friend of the Bobo family.

Dylan Adams' brother Zach Adams was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 50 years after both sides reached an agreement in September.

Another man, Jason Autry, also faces charges in the death of Bobo, who was killed in 2011 in Decatur County, Tennessee.