Zach Adams' defense team rests, closing arguments to begin Thursday

DECATUR COUNTY, TN (WMC) - The ninth day of the trial of Zach Adams proved to be the final day for testimony.

Adams' defense team rested and the judge decided to send everyone home for the day around 3 p.m. The trial will start back up Thursday morning with closing arguments.

Adams' defense team spent Wednesday shifting suspicion away from Adams and onto Terry Britt, a repeat sex offender who lived near Holly Bobo. He was a focal point of the investigation into Bobo's disappearance for several years, and he was known in the neighborhood as "Chester the Molester."

John Walker, a senior inspector for the U.S. Marshals, was first to testify Wednesday.

Walker said he discovered Holly Bobo's notebook near the area where her lunchbox was found. The notebook was wet from rain when TBI agents collected it; Walker did not touch it.

Defense attorney Jennifer Thompson planned to use Walker as a cell phone expert in the trial. The prosecution argued that Walker was not in fact a true cell phone expert.

Walker said while he has never testified as a cell phone expert, he considers himself an expert in the technology, and was an expert in finding people using their phones.

The prosecution argued that Walker had not worked as a cell phone expert in 2011 and stopped in 2006. Despite the progress in technology, Walker said the 2G network was the same.

Ultimately, the judge ruled Walker is not a cell phone expert, despite TBI asking him for advice on tracking phones in the Bobo case. This meant Walker could testify about what he did in the investigation, but he could not speculate based on his findings.

Walker testified that he interviewed Terry Britt in jail. Walker said he was trying to work a deal with Britt in an effort to locate Holly's remains.

Walker said Britt was concerned about charges coming against his wife, and also wanted to move to an "older, white jail."

Walker explained to Britt all the reasons why investigators at the time believed Britt had killed Holly--TBI lead investigator Terry Dicus testified Tuesday that Adams, Austin, Autry, and Dylan Adams were idiots but they didn't kill Holly.

Walker said he was surprised when Britt agreed to admit his role in Holly's death in exchange for a plea deal. Walker said he needed something more than a confession: he needed the location of Holly's body.

Walker said Britt told him he couldn't show him something he didn't have. Britt was confused by this comment at the time.

Walker said TBI did not follow up with Britt for the next couple of days.

Prosecutors cross-examined Walker. They said Walker left out important details about his conversation with Britt in his report. Walker said he just included the facts.

The prosecution said Walker did not read Britt his Miranda rights. Walker argued that he was not there to get testimonial evidence. The prosecution questioned this, because Walker's first sentence in the report was, "tell me what you know about Holly Bobo."

The prosecution noted that Zach Adams had previously admitted guilt to killing Bobo when Walker visited Britt in prison. Walker said he learned about Adams' confession after Britt agreed to give a similar confession.

The prosecution then grilled Walker on his authority to make a plea deal. Walker said he was not there to make a plea deal; he was just there to get information on Holly Bobo and see if he was willing to talk to TBI.

Walker testified that Britt did not seem suspicious of the interview; however, the prosecution pointed to a police report that read Britt was suspicious. Walker said Britt changed his tone; this information was not in the report. Thompson argued that reports are generalized and not a transcript of a moment.

After a brief recess, Kristie Gutgsell took the stand. Gutgsell was a bail bondsman in April 2011; she said she bonded Adams out of jail on April 4 on drug charges and evading arrest.

Gutgsell said when she bonded Adams out, he had scratches all over his arms, legs, and neck "like he ran through the woods" and had old scars on him.

There was no cross-examination after her brief testimony.

Jonathan Reeves was next on the stand.

Reeves said he was trained on cell phone designing and is an expert on cell phone technology. Reeves prepared a report on the cell phone data from the Bobo case. The defense presented this report for the courtroom.

Reeves said he analyzed the cell phones of Holly Bobo, Zach Adams, Jason Autry, and Shayne Austin. He said Holly Bobo's phone did not have GPS technology, as many phones did not in 2011.

Reeves said a voicemail came to Holly's phone at 8:17 a.m.--the first time her phone indicated that she was away from home.

At 8:25, Reeves said, Holly's phone location moves away while Zach Adams' phone did not move.

Reeves said his conclusion is that the two phones could not be at the same place during this time.

At 8:57, Adams' phone becomes closer to Holly's phone, but did not appear to be in the same location.

At 9:06, a phone call to Holly's phone went unanswered.

At 9:10, both phones had activity that showed them in the same area (which means, they were in the same sector of the same cell phone tower).

Reeves said Holly's phone began at home, traveled in one direction, and then ultimately made a loop before moving north. Adam's phone showed movement before ultimately going back home.

Reeves said at none of these times did Jason Autry's phone appear at the same area at the same time as Holly Bobo's phone.

Shayne Austin's phone did not have any activity during the same time frame. Austin's phone did not have any activity until 9:23. Because of this, he cannot make a conclusion on Austin's cell data in relation to Holly Bobo.

Reeves continued on the stand after the lunch recess. He said based on cell phone records, Holly Bobo's phone and Zach Adams' phone were not in the same place at the same time.

The prosecution then cross-examined Reeves, and they pointed out that there is no way of knowing where Shayne Austin's phone was the morning of Holly Bobo's abduction based on records. They also point out that there is no data showing Dylan Adams' phone the morning of the abduction.

Reeves said that his opinion remains the same that Holly Bobo's phone and Zach Adams' phone were not in the same location the day she was taken.

After Reeves was finished testifying, James Garnett, a TBI special agent, took the stand. Garnett showed a series a computer searches from Terry Britt that included two pornographic sites with searches like "abduction," "rape," and "kidnapped."

When Garnett finished testifying, the defense rested.

A brief recess, the judge advised Zach Adams of his rights, and he decided not to take the stand to testify. However, the prosecution elected to call rebuttal witnesses.

The prosecution called Dana Bobo to the stand for their first rebuttal witness. Dana said that he did see a burn barrel at Shayne Austin's property.

Jack Van Hooser, a former TBI employee for 30 years who now works for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, took the stand next. Van Hooser benched Terry Dicus in the Holly Bobo case because "he lost objectivity" in the case. That was the first time he'd ever made a decision like that in a case.

The prosecution decided not to call any further rebuttal witnesses after Van Hooser.

The judge explained how the closing argument proceedings will proceed Thursday morning.

He said he will read the charges to the jury, and that will take almost an hour. He will then take a recess so as to not break up closing arguments. The state will go first, then the defense, and then the state will have one last chance for rebuttal arguments.

The judge will then draw three names for alternates, and the remaining jurors will begin to deliberate.

WMC Action News 5 will continue to bring you gavel-to-gavel coverage on WMCActionNews5.com and the WMC Action News 5 app. Be sure to join us Thursday for closing arguments.

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

Day 3: DNA, personal items entered as evidence in Holly Bobo murder trial

Day 7: State rests its case in Zach Adams' murder trial

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