SAVANNAH, Tenn. (WKRN) – Jason Autry, one of the men accused in the high-profile Holly Bobo case, testified against Zach Adams as the trial against Adams continued Thursday.
Dressed in a prison uniform, Autry said on the stand he is “hoping for leniency” for testifying and that he was there to “tell the truth.”
During his all-day testimony, Autry said Adams went to the Bobo’s home on the morning of April 13, 2011 to teach her older brother Clint how to make meth. That’s when Adams reportedly encountered Bobo and she starting yelling.
That same morning, Autry stated he called Adams in an effort to buy drugs, but he said he was busy and would call him back. When Adams called back, Autry said he told him, “I need to see you. I need your help.”
Autry said it wasn’t until he got to the house where Adams was that he learned a body was involved. He said Bobo’s body was wrapped in a blanket and Adams told him, “That’s Holly Bobo.”
“He said, ‘I need you to help me bury this body,’” Autry said.
Autry agreed to help, and he claims he and Adams took off in a truck to bury her body, but then realized they didn’t have any tools to dig a hole. Autry said he devised a new plan that involved throwing the young woman in the water.
“It was to gut her and put her in the deep end of the slough. I told him, ‘You put her in the deep end and turtles would eat her up.’”
According to his testimony, while trying to get Bobo in the water, he heard a groan and told Adams, “This f****** b**** is still alive.” Autry said it was then that Adams shot Bobo.
“I had done started my way back this way and it sounded like, ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ Of course it was only one shot, but it echoed under that bridge,” he said.
Autry said Adams supposedly shot Bobo for a second time, and the men then loaded her body back in the truck and left the scene.
Autry also testified that he was high on drugs at the time.
“A few minutes before that, I had just shot one h*** of a lot of dope, and when that gun went off, I came to my senses and realized that man had made a bad mistake. Some bad judgments.”
Autry said he next spoke to Adams two days later when he met him behind a gas station on Interstate 40.
“I asked him what he ever did with the girl,” Autry said. “He said we throwed [sic] her out over near Kelly Ridge. He said that is not the main reason I am here.”
According to Autry, the purpose of the meeting was because Adams allegedly wanted to get rid of his own brother, Dylan, who is also accused in the case. Autry said Dylan Adams wasn’t sleeping and continually talking about what happened to Bobo.
“He said I wanted to see if you will kill him for me,” Autry said. “At that time he made an offer to me to get rid of Mr. Dylan.”
Autry admitted he finally agreed to Zach Adams’ request and he even picked Dylan up to go fishing before he planned on killing him. Autry said another boat pulled up and saw the men, so the plan fell through.
The defense, however, said Thursday that portion of Autry’s testimony showed an unfair prejudice toward Adams.
“It paints Mr. Adams to be a killer of his own brother – a second attempted murder they are trying to pull in here,” the defense attorney said.
Judge Creed McGinley said the testimony had probative value and would play a part in the trial.
“It goes as an attempt to keep something covered and the court finds that its probative value does outweigh the value of unfair prejudice,” he said.
Adams has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, rape and murder.
Bobo was 20 when she disappeared from her home in the rural West Tennessee town of Parson in April 2011. Her remains were found in September 2014 by two ginseng hunters not far from her home.
Adams faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
His brother Dylan Adams is also accused in the case along with Autry.
The trial, which started Monday, is expected to last three weeks with as many as 90 witnesses taking the stand.