The defense called seven witnesses to the stand Tuesday as Zach Adams’ murder trial continued into its second week.
Adams’ is accused of kidnapping, rape, and murder in the disappearance of Holly Bobo in 2011.
Former TBI criminal investigator Terry Dicus was the first on the stand Tuesday.
Dicus said Zach Adams’ name, along with Dylan Adams, Jason Autry, and Shayne Austin, came up within the first week of the murder investigation.
Investigators sent TBI agents, FBI agents, and cadaver dogs to Austin’s home after personal items from Holly Bobo were found on the same road that Shayne Austin lived.
The search of Austin’s home came up empty. Later, their focus turned to Zach Adams.
Dicus said Adams told investigators he was with his girlfriend at the time of the abduction. He then went to pick up Austin around 9 or 10 a.m. Surveillance footage showed that Adams was where he told investigators he had been at those times.
Defense attorney Jennifer Thompson showed the jury photos time-stamped at 11:04 and 11:05 a.m.
Dicus said he spent days and weeks looking at the surveillance footage. He even pulled requests for every cell phone record in Decatur County for the day of Holly Bobo’s disappearance.
“If you were in Decatur County that day, we knew where you were if you used your cell phone,” he said.
Dicus said Decatur County was a 2G network at the time, and while a 3G network would have a specific location, the network would only be able to give a general location, so they had to make educated guesses as to where cell phones were used.
Dicus said the ping from Adams’ cell phone was far away from Holly’s cell phone around 8:30 a.m. the day Holly went missing. The pings were placed two minutes apart and Dicus said they were too far away to be a 2-minute drive.
At that time, Dicus determined there was no way Adams could have taken Bobo.
He said the names Adams, Autry, and Austin kept coming up “for stupid reasons,” so he made the determination that he was going to investigate them and put their names to rest for good.
Dicus said he went to speak to Zach Adam’s ex-girlfriend Rebecca Earp. After that, he made the determination to “stop wasting his time with these idiots.”
John Dodd, who Dicus called a “troublemaker,” was also investigated because he had previously tried to steal from Holly Bobo’s house.
Dicus said a search dog linked the scent of Holly Bobo to Dodd’s grandfather’s house, where he was living at the time. Dicus said the scent turned out to be weak, as if someone had walked through there several weeks before.
Nevertheless, Dodd was interrogated as eight to 10 people sifted through his truck.
Dicus said another man’s name came up in the investigation after his wife told investigators to look into him. He was turkey hunting that morning and did not have an alibi, but Dicus said the man did not fit a lot of other things they knew about the crime.
Adams’ defense attorney asked Dicus about several other names, all of which were legitimate suspects at some point during the investigation.
Clint Bobo, Holly’s brother, was a suspect in the case for about 12 hours. When nobody was found in or around the house, he was ruled out.
Eight women approached Dicus and accused Terry Britt of stalking them, but Britt had an alibi as he spent the morning with his wife purchasing a bathtub. However, Dicus called Britt’s alibi “garbage.” He said nobody could verify that Britt was at the store, there was no surveillance footage, and the store did not have a receipt matching the one Britt gave investigators.
Investigators wiretapped Britt’s home, but Dicus said Britt was suspicious right away.
Britt had a friend who lived on Yellowsprings Road, where Holly’s personal items were found. Dicus also said Britt used to drink and drive around in the area where her remains were found.
Dicus admitted that confronting Britt about the stalking was a “huge mistake,” and Britt threatened the women afterward, even though Britt did not reveal any names.
A yearbook was found in a locked shed behind Britt’s home during the investigation. According to Dicus, Britt had been stalking a woman featured in the yearbook and her photo had been highlighted. She had received a scholarship and was featured in The New Leader. Holly Bobo received the same scholarship and was also featured in the article.
Next, the prosecution questioned Dicus, who stopped working on the case in 2013. He said he doesn’t know what the state has done since he left.
Prosecutors pointed out that Dicus assumed sexual predators work alone. They also pointed out that Clint Bobo was never 100 percent certain which voice sounded most recognizable and close to that of his sister’s abductor.
Dicus pointed out that if Holly Bobo’s and Zach Adams’ phones were pinging at the same location, it would be reasonable if Zach was at his home.
The former investigator said he was never aware of Adams’ comments to other people about Holly, such as “I couldn’t have picked a prettier [expletive],” because he left the case in 2013.
Dicus said there were at least 10 people taking credit for Holly’s murder, including Zach Adams. Investigators checked them all out, but believed they were not legitimate.
The court broke for lunch after Dicus’ testimony finished.
Arthur G. Viveros, the FBI special agent and lead investigator in the Holly Bobo murder trial, took the stand next.
Viveros talked about what was found at Terry Britt’s home, including a blonde hair. During the cross examination, the prosecution asked Viveros if he knew the blonde that was found was not a DNA match to Holly Bobo, and he replied that he did know that.
After Viveros, the defense called David Barela, a private investigator and former criminal investigator with the U.S. Army. The defense asked Barela to compare different bullet dimension. The prosecution argued that Barela was not an expert in ballistics, and he agreed.
(Note: A portion of David Barela’s testimony was cut off at the end.)
Travis Dunavant, an employee with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, took the stand after Barela. He worked for Decatur County Jail in 2011. Dunavant was asked to check on Terry Britt’s home. He testified that nobody answered the door and vehicles were missing. The prosecution chose not to interview Dunavant.
John D. Adams, who is Zach Adam’s grandfather and prefers to be called Dick, was called to the stand by the defense. He was handed a page out of his work log or diary, which did not mention seeing Zach Adams the day Holly Bobo disappeared, despite Dick previously testifying that he had. .
(Note: A portion of Dick Adams’ testimony was cut off at the beginning.)
William Bell, who goes by “Billy” and works with Dick Adams, took the stand after a short recess. Bell said he did not see Zach Adams the day of Holly’s disappearance.
Linda Littlejohn, who works at the TBI Crime Lab in Nashville, was asked about a shoe print that she examined from the crime scene, however, she did not actually go to the crime scene, as the prosecution pointed out.
Amber Treat, a private investigator, mapped different routes pertaining to the disappearance of Holly Bobo.
After Treat was questioned by the defense, the trial wrapped up for the day.
The defense is expected to call more witnesses Wednesday when the trial resumes at 8:30 a.m., but before the judge dismissed everyone, he alluded to the fact that the defense may rest Wednesday.
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Below you can read our previous stories from the trial. Each story has video of every witness testimony.
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