The remains of the Tennessee nursing student, 20, were found three years after she vanished in 2011

By Jeff Truesdell
September 14, 2017 03:29 PM
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Holly Bobo’s mother broke down in sobs after hearing a prosecutor in court this week describe how her accused killer allegedly kidnapped, raped and fatally shot the 20-year-old Tennessee nursing student, who went missing in 2011.

“I’m feeling sick,” said her mother, Karen Bobo, before collapsing on the witness stand Monday and causing the judge to briefly recess the trial of Zachary Adams, one of three men charged in the murder, reports WREG.

Adams, 33, is the first to be tried in the case and has pleaded not guilty.

Bobo’s screams outside her family’s semi-rural home in Parsons, Tennessee, on the morning of April 13, 2011, alerted a neighbor, after her brother Clint said he heard voices outside and then glimpsed a man in camouflage walking his sister toward the woods.

Her remains were found in September 2014 in woods near Adams’ home.

“I told her goodbye and I loved her,” Karen Bobo testified about the last time she saw her daughter alive, before breaking down and causing the judge to briefly clear the courtroom in Savannah, Tennessee, according to CBSNews.com.

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On Wednesday, another witness, Larry Stone, described the day he discovered Bobo’s remains while hunting for ginseng roots with his cousin, reports The Jackson Sun.

Spotting what later would be identified as Bobo’s skull, Stone said to his cousin, “Please tell me that’s one of those things they use in school, and that’s not real.”

The find led to additional remains and evidence that included a wallet with Bobo’s driver’s license, a purse with car keys and makeup, and an inhaler, according to testimony, the Sun reports.

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman alleged Adams lived in a “dark, dark world” of methamphetamine and morphine addiction. Hagerman alleged that Adams abducted, drugged and raped Bobo, then wrapped her in a blanket and took her in his truck to the home of a friend before calling another man, Jason Autry, to help dispose of the body.

Hagerman said the two then went to the nearby Tennessee River with the intent to “gut” Bobo and place her body in the water. But when she made a sound and moved, Adams allegedly shot her in the head, later allegedly boasting that the world would never learn what happened to her, Hagerman said.

“He took her, he raped her, he killed her, he discarded her, he covered it up, he almost got away with it,” Hagerman said in his opening statement. “But he didn’t.”

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The suspect’s defense attorney, Jennifer Thompson, countered in court that authorities found no DNA evidence in Adams’ home that would linked him to the slaying, and that Autry was offered a plea deal to testify against his friend in exchange for a reduced charge against him.

“There are real problems with his story,” she said of Autry, who also faces allegations of kidnapping, rape and murder in the case, along with Adams’ brother John Dylan Adams. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The trial of Zachary Adams is expected to last three weeks. He faces the death penalty if convicted.