Zach Adams sentenced to life without parole for murdering Holly - WSMV News 4

Zach Adams sentenced to life without parole for murdering Holly Bobo

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Holly Bobo went missing six years ago in Decatur County. (WSMV) Holly Bobo went missing six years ago in Decatur County. (WSMV)
Zach Adams sits in the courtroom during his trial. (WSMV file photo) Zach Adams sits in the courtroom during his trial. (WSMV file photo)

Updated Nov. 9, 2017:

Hardin County Court officials have confirmed that Zachary Adams' attorney has filed a generic motion for a new trial. 

According to the clerk, the request did not allege any new information but says Adams' legal team has 30 days to amend the original filing to include more insight into their request for a new trial.

In September, Adams was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 50 years for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Holly Bobo. Before his sentencing hearing, defense attorneys and state prosecutors met and worked out the agreement that allowed Zach Adams not to face the death penalty.

Adams will serve life without parole on the murder counts, which were merged into one count. An additional 50 years was added to the sentence for the rape convictions.

WATCH: Zach Adams sentencing hearing

WATCH: Family of Holly Bobo and prosecutors press conference after sentencing


Zach Adams was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder and rape, in the Holly Bobo murder trial.

Adams was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, and three counts of aggravated rape.

The first-degree murder charge makes this a capital case, meaning the death penalty is on the table.

The sentencing phase is expected to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn released a statement following the verdict:

"Since the start of this investigation, our priority has been to pursue justice for the family and friends of Holly Bobo. Today, though we are gratified by the jury's verdict, our thoughts remain with them.

We pursued this case as we do all others: to the best of our abilities. I am proud of the dedicated work of our Agents and Forensic Scientists, and thank the prosecution team for their tireless efforts in this case.

We hope today's verdict brings a small sense of closure to those who loved Holly Bobo and stand prepared to assist prosecutors in the trials of the additional defendants in this case."

Zach Adams attorney Jennifer Thompson also spoke after the verdict was read.

"I'm concerned the jury is going for [the] death [penalty]," Thompson said to the press. "For me, who sees Zach Adams as an innocent man who's been convicted, the fact he can get the death penalty is really frightening to me."

She also shared an update on Adams' reaction to learning his fate. 

"[I] reminded him he was going to be stoic…because this jury was going to decide if he will live or die," she said. "He went white. I think he took it like a champ. He was really surprised.”

Adams mother, Cindy, did not receive the news as well as her son. She immediately began sobbing and had to be escorted out of the courtroom. 

In her statement to the press, Thompson also voiced her general displeasure with the verdict, as well as the State's case, which ultimately convinced the jury to move forward with all the charges filed against her client.

"So, there are still many questions left unanswered…[that] the state didn’t answer," she said. "Who took Holly? What car did they drive?”

In contrast, those connected with Holly Bobo and her family were relieved by the verdict they had been waiting years to hear. As the courtroom cleared, a group even formed a prayer circle for Holly to give thanks for the justice they believe was finally carried out. 

Just after 3:30 p.m. on the second day of deliberation in the murder trial accusing Zach Adams of Holly Bobo's murder, the jury reentered the courtroom to ask Judge Creed McGinley a question regarding the case. Shortly after they returned to deliberate they came forward with a verdict. 

This was the second question jurors stopped deliberation to ask. The first was on Tuesday afternoon.

Unlike the first question, where the judge wrote a note and sent it back to them in their chamber, he brought them into the courtroom. He explained that this was so they did not feel like they were being ignored. 

The judge said the jury's question was related to evidence being entirely circumstantial.

He continued saying his hands are tied and reminded them that the court cannot comment on any evidence. 

"Thank you so much for your continued dedication," McGinley said to the jury as he sent them back to continue deliberations. 

He said they must make their decision solely on evidence they heard in the courtroom, not information they saw on television or knew before proceedings began. 

Jurors resumed their deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Friday. They requested lunch around 11:20 a.m. This comes after the jury worked for almost three hours on Thursday.

The jury was working to decide if Zach Adams is guilty in the 2011 murder of the nursing student. Adams is one of three people charged in the case.

Judge C. Creed McGinley said the jury will work until 6 p.m. each day unless they are close to a decision, which means they can continue working.

Jurors heard the state and defense give passionate closing arguments on Thursday.

The defense argued there is a lack of evidence, saying the state's star witness, Jason Autry, testified to avoid the death penalty.

The state reminded jurors that at least two witnesses testified that Adams admitted his guilt.

Adams is charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Stay with News 4 for updates from the courtroom throughout the day.

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