SAVANNAH, Tenn. — It’s day five of the Holly Bobo trial where the state is trying to convict Zach Adams of kidnapping, raping and murdering the 20-year-old nursing student.
The defense is going after the fact there is no physical evidence pinning their client as the 20-year-old’s kidnapper, rapist and murderer.
Brent Booth, a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, admits they made huge mistakes in the case.
The special agent says defendant Zach Adams along with his associates were brought to their attention early on.
But when Bobo’s body was found three years later Booth went back to his case notes and realized none of their stories were actually checked out.
In fact, those original stories were wrong.
He said actions as simple as checking out their alibis and looking into tips weren’t done early on.
They ransacked defendant Adams’ house three years after Bobo disappeared and no physical evidence could be found by then.
And the barn where they were said to have raped her was also gone.
“They weren’t interviewed early on,” Booth said. “They were overwhelmed. Too much coming in too fast. We aren’t that big of an agency. We don’t have people. We aren’t huge. That’s not an excuse, it’s just what we are. It was a mistake. It was a bad mistake.”
The defense also pointed out investigators spent time looking at the Bobos as suspects, saying they were misleading or lied to them.
But the state said Holly’s mom did lie to investigators about Holly’s age at first, saying she was only 17, because she heard they wouldn’t issue an Amber Alert otherwise.
We’ve already heard from a doctor who said Bobo’s skull fractures are consistent with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. And yesterday we heard from Jason Autry who says he was there when Zach Adams used the gun to shoot Bobo, and with Shayne Austin when they sold it to someone for drugs.
Friday we heard from the person they sold it to — a former drug dealer named Victor Dinsmore.
He was given immunity to testify and said Austin and Autry gave him the gun for morphine in return.
A chilling detail — he says he then gave this pistol to his wife so she could protect herself in light of what happened to Bobo.
But he said when he later got word of Adams’ and associates possible involvement in Bobo’s disappearance, he told his wife to ditch the gun.
They recently went with investigators and attorneys to find that gun.
And although it took four different tries, authorities finally got their hands on it.
The timing of these breakthroughs in the case had a direct correlation with investigators dropping the ball early on and not thoroughly following leads and checking alibis for these suspects.
“Is there a pressure to solve this case? Self imposed, yeah. Those are my friend’s neighbors,” Booth said. “You don’t get in this line of the work for the money. I do what I do because I love people.”
We also heard from the experts who examined the gun and although they did everything they could to link it to the scene where Bobo’s remains were found…they couldn’t.
So this continues to be a case based on witness testimony…rather than physical evidence.
For a recap of all the testimony, click here.
Bridget Chapman is also tweeting from inside the courtroom.