Second Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Murder of Tennessee Nursing Student Holly Bobo

John Dylan Adams, whose brother also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 35 years in prison

Dylan Adams
Photo: C. B. Schmelter/The Jackson Sun/AP

A second man will face prison time in the 2011 abduction and murder of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo.

John Dylan Adams was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Monday in the death of Bobo, 20, whose remains were found in the woods in 2014 not far from her family’s semi-rural Decatur County home, from which she had been taken more than three years earlier as she stepped outside to leave for school on the morning of April 13, 2011.

He was one of three men charged in her death.

On Monday, Adams accepted a plea agreement charging him with facilitating Bobo’s murder, a charge that will place him behind bars for 35 years, TV station WKRN reports.

The so-called Alford plea arranged by his defense attorneys and prosecutors — which does not admit guilt but carries the same weight, and cannot be appealed — would assess 15 years for facilitation of first-degree murder, and 35 years for aggravated kidnapping, to be served concurrently, The Jackson Sun reports.

Adams’ brother, Zach Adams, 33, was found guilty in September 2017 of eight charges related to the crime. Zach Adams accepted a plea deal arranged by his defense and state prosecutors that allowed him to avoid the death penalty — an outcome that was supported by Bobo’s parents — and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Kenneth Cummings/The Jackson Sun/AP; Facebook

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

The third man facing charges in the case, Jason Autry, has pleaded not guilty, and prosecutors have said they wanted to delay resolution of his case while they dealt with John Dylan Adams, according to TV station WBBJ. Autry was a key witness at the trial of Zach Adams.

John Dylan Adams was scheduled to go to trial in May and had faced a sentence of up to 51 years in prison if convicted at trial.

Bobo Was Raped and Drugged, Third Suspect Testified

During Zach Adams’ September trial, Autry — who has been offered the possibility of reduced charges and federal immunity in exchange for his testimony, according to the Sun — described in detail the alleged events leading to the murder and its aftermath.

Bobo’s brother, Clint, had testified that he heard voices outside of the family’s house on the morning his sister went missing, and then glimpsed a man dressed in camouflage walking Holly to the edge of the woods.

Autry, who acknowledged his addiction to methamphetamine and morphine, testified that on the day Bobo disappeared, he’d called his friend Zach Adams to buy a morphine pill. Autry, who went by the nickname “Train,” later met up with Adams.

“He said, ‘I need you to help me bury this body,’” Autry said.

• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.

Autry first thought the body might be that of someone who owed money to Adams and another man from a drug deal. “He said, ‘Train, that’s Holly Bobo,’” Autry testified.

Autry alleged that Adams eventually told him that he, John Dylan Adams, and a third man all had raped Bobo, who allegedly had been drugged.

A pathologist testified at Zach Adams’ trial that Bobo had been shot in the head, which Autry said occurred during an aborted attempt to throw her listless body into a river after Bobo appeared to stir.

Autry testified that two days after that incident, he asked Zach Adams what he’d done with “the ol’ girl.”

“We threw her out,” Zach Adams allegedly replied, according to Autry.

Related Articles