TBI never found Bobo's DNA at Zach Adams' home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TBI never found Bobo's DNA at Zach Adams' home

Holly Bobo (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives) Holly Bobo (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)
DECATUR COUNTY, TN (WMC) -

The fifth day of testimony in the trial of Zach Adams, who is accused of killing Holly Bobo in 2011, kicked off Friday morning.

Testimony Friday uncovered the detail that the gun used to kill Holly Bobo was later sold for drug money, it also featured a TBI agent saying the agency made a big mistake in the case. Another big development happened when Zach Adams' defense team got a TBI special agent to confirm that investigators did not find any of Holly Bobo's DNA at Adams' house or in his pickup truck.

Brian Vitt, a Camden police officer, was the first on the stand Friday.

Vitt said he lived next to the grandmother of Shayne Austin and Jason Autry--two of Zach Adams' friends accused of playing a role in Bobo's murder (Austin killed himself in 2015; Autry testified against Adams earlier in the week).

Vitt said he came home from work around 6 a.m. the day Holly Bobo went missing. After his wife went to work, he mowed the lawn.

Vitt said unfortunately, he never heard or saw anything suspicious.

The defense asked if Vitt is familiar with Jason Autry outside his testimony; he said he was not.

Randy McGee was next on the stand.

McGee, a TV satellite installer, said he was assigned to install a satellite on Shayne Austin's home on April 13, 2011.

McGee said Austin was the only one at the home that day, and he stayed inside the home the entire time.

McGee said when he got to the home, Austin already had a beer in his hand around noon.

The defense then went over potential phone calls with McGee about his service; eventually, the judge questioned the relevance of the questions. The defense then rested.

Brenda O'Bryant took the stand next. Her parents own property on Cox Road, near Kelly Ridge, where Jason Autry testified that Zach Adams dumped Holly Bobo's body.

O'Bryant said her daughter played ball with Holly Bobo, so she was aware of who she was when she went missing.

O'Bryant said she noticed a PT Cruiser pull in her driveway, and a man came out to ask permission to fish nearby--this matches Autry's testimony from Thursday.

O'Bryant told the man, later identified as Jason Autry, to ask her father, who was out searching for Holly Bobo.

O'Bryant said Autry became visibly nervous when she mentioned Holly's name.

Angela Smith was next to testify. Smith was the girlfriend of Jason Autry in 2011.

Smith supported Autry's testimony that the two had a routine where they would hide his car while he stayed at her house.

Smith said she and Autry would text each other "virtually all day."

The two would eat lunch in the parking lot of the health department daily around 11:30 a.m.

Smith said she did not have any stand out memories from April 13, 2011, except that she received an Amber Alert on her phone.

Smith said she was familiar with Zach Adams and Shayne Austin as friends of Autry.

Defense Attorney Jennifer Thompson questioned Smith, asking her if she knew Autry was a heavy drug user--she said yes.

Victor Dinsmore then began his testimony.

Dinsmore admitted to the prosecution that he sold morphine to Zach Adams, Shayne Austin, and Jason Autry. The prosecution gave Dinsmore immunity in the case.

Dinsmore recalled a fight between Austin and Zach about "who was going to 'hit it' first." Dinsmore said he never pieced it together that they could be talking about Holly.

Dinsmore said he did not discuss hiding Zach's truck in his garage the day Holly disappeared, as Autry testified. However, Dinsmore admitted that Zach hid his vehicle in his garage on two separate incidents. He said one of those incidents happened after the day Holly Bobo disappeared.

Dinsmore said Shayne Austin and Jason Autry sold him a gun in exchange for drugs. He ended up giving the gun to his wife, "because of what happened to Holly."

After Dinsmore and his wife moved to Indianapolis, he became aware the gun may have been used to kill Holly. At this time, he told his wife she needed to get rid of the gun. They eventually ditched the gun in a creek.

Dinsmore testified that TBI reached out to him in February 2017 in regards to the gun. Dinsmore said TBI flew him back to Tennessee to show them where the gun was left.

He was unable to find the gun, so he called his wife for assistance. They were then able to help TBI find the gun and confirmed it was the one he received in exchange for morphine.

Thompson mentioned Dinsmore's immunity agreement; he said he did not even want one.

She then questioned Dinsmore's alibi at the time of Bobo's disappearance. She said Dinsmore previously told investigators that his wife was in the hospital that day.

Dinsmore replied that he got his days mixed up because of his wife's time in the hospital.

Thompson asked Dinsmore if he was aware of the reward offered in the case.

"Yes, I know there's a reward. I won't take it; it's not about money," he said.

Thompson asked Dinsmore if he attempted to rape a woman. "Absolutely not true," he replied.

Dinsmore said he knew of several guns that he believed could have been used in Bobo's murder, including a shotgun.

For several minutes, Thompson spoke logistics on when Dinsmore knew the truck in his garage had been used in the murder.

At first, Dinsmore told investigators there was no way the truck was stored at his home. After speaking with his daughter and wife, he became aware that the truck was indeed there.

Thompson asked Dinsmore if he thought being someone with a rape conviction (which he has from 1985) would make him a likely suspect in the Holly Bobo case. He replied that when you have a rape conviction, you are always aware of your surroundings.

Thompson pointed out that Dinsmore is not registered as a sex offender. Dinsmore said he is not required to register, but he is still permanently marked as a sex offender.

The prosecution asked why Dinsmore felt the need to help in the case. He said he knew how the Bobos felt, because his son was murdered; so, he wanted to help in any way he could without a reward.

The prosecution asked Dinsmore if Zach was familiar with the roads and the woods around Holly Bobo's house.

"He knew every nook, cranny, and corner," Dinsmore said.

The defense inquired about Dinsmore's son. Dinsmore said his son was killed in 2007.

Thompson said the state initially ruled it as a suicide and are not investigating.

"They won't investigate because of my past," Dinsmore replied.

TBI special agent Brent Booth was next to testify.

Booth told the prosecution he arrived at the Bobo home around 9:15 the morning Holly went missing. He said between 100-200 people were there.

"I've never seen anything like this," Booth said.

Booth said he sent men into the woods; they were sent in on a search and rescue mission.

"Find Holly was our number one mission at that point," Booth said.

Booth said the phone pings led them north near I-40. He and other TBI agents looked through the Bobo home while others searched the woods. The home search lasted through the night.

"I didn't sleep for days," Booth said.

When prosecutors asked Booth when he stopped searching, he replied September 7, 2014--the day Holly's body was found.

The weeks following her disappearance, Booth said the agents searched aggressively on tips that she was still alive.

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman asked Booth about the receipt found near Shayne Austin's home days after Holly's abduction. Booth said at the time he did not know how close the receipt was to Austin's home. It turns out the receipt was about 70 yards from Austin's home.

Booth admitted TBI didn't follow tips linking the crime to Shayne Austin, Zach Adams, Dylan Adams, or Jason Autry right away.

Instead, they investigated Terry Britt after a cell phone ping matched near his home.

"We took Terry Britt's life apart," Booth said.

Booth said agents wiretapped his home and phone and listened to conversations between Britt and his wife and executed search warrants that came up empty.

Booth admitted that he and fellow agents made a mistake in not investigating tips into Adams, Autry, and Austin.

"We were feeding all this information in, but we didn't see what was there," he said.

Booth admitted that TBI never checked the alibis of Adams, Autry, and Austin.

"Overwhelmed. Too much coming in, too fast," Booth said.

He said TBI is a small agency that could not check on everything. Still he admitted his team made errors. 

"It was a mistake," Booth said. "A big mistake--left hand not talking to the right."

Booth said TBI began looking through the case file from day one. 

On January 25, 2014, the force of the investigation changed to Adams, Austin, and Autry.

Booth said TBI never spoke to any of their associates until that time.

TBI eventually spoke to Dylan Adams, and arrested Zach Adams shortly after.

Booth said agents tore apart Zach's home and found no evidence of Holly Bobo.

In September, when the remains were found, Booth said he knew it had to be Holly.

Booth returned to the stand after court took an hour lunch break.

He told prosecutors that agents went to Shayne Austin's grandmother's barn in 2014, but the barn had been destroyed. The barn is where Austin, Dylan Adams, and Zach Adams are believed to have raped Holly Bobo.

Prosecutors then asked Booth about the pressure to make an arrest in this case. He agreed that the pressure was very high, but he insisted that the pressure is not why TBI arrested the men they arrested.

"We pride ourselves on doing the right thing...Did we make mistakes in this one? Yeah, and this one is one that I'll take with me for the rest of my life," Booth said. "Bottom line, I got the right person. I didn't charge the wrong person."

Defense Attorney Jennifer Thompson cross-examined Booth. During her questioning, Booth confirmed that TBI seized four vehicles (including the white truck Holly's body was reported transported in), took countless items from three different homes belonging to Adams' family and friends, and used equipment to dig on Adams' property.

Booth also confirmed that DNA testing never found any evidence Holly Bobo had been at any of those places.

Prosecutors also pointed out that while TBI found a lot of ammunition at Adams' properties, none of the ammunition fit the gun prosecutors say was used to kill Holly.

Next on the stand was Steve Deaton. He is a member of the water recovery team that found the revolver prosecutors said was used to kill Holly Bobo.

He said the gun was located in water that was approximately 15 inches deep. His team found the gun with the help of a metal detector. 

Prosecutors then called an expert gun identification forensic scientist to the stand. 

TBI special agent Cervinia Braswell testified about how she cleaned the gun that Deaton and his team found.

She said the gun had five bullets in its seven chambers. Those bullets were not the exact type of bullets the gun was designed for, but the bullets had the same diameter so they would fire successfully.

Braswell was the last witness to testify Friday. Judge C. Creed McGinley said the trial would resume Saturday morning, but Saturday would only be a half day. Presumably, the trial will not end Saturday, so it will take a day off Sunday and resume Monday morning.

WMC Action News 5 will continue to bring you gavel-to-gavel coverage in our free WMC Action New 5 app, WMCActionNews5.com, and the WMC Action News 5 Facebook page.

Below you can read our previous stories from the trial. Each story has video of every witness' testimony.

Day 1: Emotional testimony culminates with Holly's mother
Day 2: Zach Adam's ex-girlfriend: 'He said he'd tie me up, like he did Holly Bobo'
Day 3: DNA, personal items entered as evidence in Holly Bobo murder trial
Day 4: Jason Autry testifies all day, explains how Zach Adams killed Holly Bobo

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