Attorney retained as search continues near Adams property - WSMV News 4

Attorney retained as search continues near Adams property

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The man accused of kidnapping and killing Holly Bobo will face a judge for the first time in the case Tuesday, and his family has now hired an attorney to represent him.

Jennifer Lynn Thompson will represent Zachary Adams. Thompson is perhaps best known for working with the defense for Torry Hansen, the Shelbyville mother who sent her adopted son back to Russia in 2010.

Meanwhile, investigators appear to not be finished looking for clues near Adams' property. Search crews and dogs showed up again Saturday off Highway 69 in Decatur County near his Adams Lane home.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirms it requested Shelby County Emergency Services to search there in connection with Bobo's murder. What they can't say is what they were looking for this time around.

So far, the TBI has yet to indicate whether any remains have been found in the case.

"It certainly is rare where they don't have a body in the case," said legal expert David Raybin, a criminal defense attorney not associated with this case. "You can prove any element by circumstantial evidence."

However, Raybin said it is possible to charge someone with murder without a body.

"Probably they've figured out that the case is as good as it's ever gonna get, so go ahead and move along with it," Raybin said.

Still, the lack of a body could make getting a conviction tougher.

"That's been done before in the Janet March case where they didn't have a body. You can prove that. It has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Raybin said.

Raybin, who helped write Nashville's criminal code, said officials likely brought charges in the case now because waiting could hurt the prosecution.

"If they wait a lot longer, then their case could potentially get weaker. Witnesses could die, evidence could evaporate," Raybin said.

Because Adams faces charges for aggravated kidnapping and capital murder, the death penalty will be on the table, but a body could determine whether the prosecution asks for the death penalty.

"Because that typically scares the heck out of a jury, they're not going to convict someone of murder and impose the death penalty if there's any chance at all about the person," Raybin said.

One thing that will likely happen is a change of venue. In a community so small and tight-knit, it would be hard to find a jury pool without a connection or an opinion.

"I'm sure that many people may have even been interviewed by the police. I mean, it's just not that big. When you have a case that has that much media saturation, typically the defense will move to have that case moved out of the county where the case has not received as much media attention," Raybin said.

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