One of the suspects in the Holly Bobo murder case appeared in court on Tuesday as prosecutors revealed he won’t face the death penalty.
John Dylan Adams is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing the nursing student in Tennessee in 2011.
His brother Zach Adams was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 50 years in September for his involvement in the murder of 20-year-old Bobo, while a third suspect, Jason Autry, also faces charges over her death.
On Tuesday, at a status hearing for John Adams, Judge C. Creed McGinley said that the jury for his trial is likely to come from Chattanooga, where there has been relatively little coverage of the case.
John Dylan Adams looks back at family members after recess was called during a hearing to set a date for his trial in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Holly Bobo, on Tuesday
Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman talks with Karen and Dana Bobo, parents of Holly Bobo, at the conclusion of a hearing for John Dylan Adams, Tuesday
McGinley set a tentative trial date for May 29, although Adams’ next hearing is December 14. Karen and Dana Bobo, parents of Holly, were in court for the hearing.
A cut-off date will be set soon for when both sides must agree on a plea agreement.
Adams is charged in the case of Bobo, who was 20 when she was reported missing from her home in Parsons, Tennessee.
Bobo’s disappearance on April 13, 2011, led to a massive search of the woods, fields and farms of west Tennessee, and her case received national attention. Her remains were found in September 2014 by two ginseng hunters in woods not far from Bobo’s home in Decatur County.
His brother Zachary Adams had avoided a possible death sentence when he reached a deal with prosecutors minutes before his sentencing hearing was to begin in September.
Holly Bobo (pictured) disappeared on April 13, 2011, leading to a massive search of the woods, fields and farms of west Tennessee, and her case received national attention
Adams (pictured in court) is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing the nursing student in Tennessee in 2011
Judge C. Creed McGinley speaks to members of the prosecution during a hearing to set a trial date for John Dylan Adams
Zachary Adams’ jury selection and trial was moved from Decatur County to neighboring Hardin County because of the intense publicity the case received in Bobo’s home county. McGinley said he is making arrangements to hold John Dylan Adams’ jury selection in Chattanooga, located in Hamilton County in southeast Tennessee.
The trial would still be held in Hardin County, said Matt Maddox, the lawyer for John Dylan Adams.
‘I cannot get another jury in Hardin County,’ McGinley said.
The judge said he was setting a tentative trial date for the ‘day after Memorial Day,’ which is May 29. Jury selection would be held the week before, and the panel will be sequestered, the judge said.
Prosecutors have indicated they no longer intend to seek the death penalty or life in prison without parole if John Dylan Adams is convicted, McGinley said.
Zach Adams walks into the courtroom, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 for the penalty phase in Savannah, Tenn
Holly Bobo’s decomposed remains were found near Adams’ home three years after authorities began looking for her
Karen Bobo (pictured) speaks to Zachary Adams during the victim impact statement Sept. 23, 2017 in Savannah, Tennessee
Autry, who also is charged with kidnapping, rape and murder, testified in Zachary Adams’ trial, telling jurors that Adams used graphic details when he told Autry that he, his brother John and friend Shayne Austin raped Bobo.
Autry said he served as a lookout while Zachary Adams shot Bobo under a bridge spanning the Tennessee River.
Autry was on a list of witnesses offered immunity in the case. He said during the trial that he testified because he wanted leniency. Autry’s lawyer has told the judge that a trial does not need to be set for Autry, indicating he has reached a deal with prosecutors.
John Dylan Adams’ name came up several times in his brother’s trial.
Shawn Cooper, who was jailed with Zachary Adams in Chester County after his arrest in March 2014, testified that Adams threatened his own brother for speaking about the Bobo case.
Adams is pictured in his 2014 mugshot. Police said he was in a dark world of methamphetamine when he killed Bobo
Cooper was awaiting transfer to the Obion County Jail on a separate case when he says Zachary Adams told him he was involved in the ‘Holly Bobo murder case.’
Cooper said Adams told him his brother was being held in Obion County Jail. Adams then asked him to relay to John Dylan Adams that he should stay quiet or he would ‘put him in a hole beside her,’ Cooper said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said that the Bobo investigation was the most exhaustive and expensive in the agency’s history.
Bobo’s mother Karen told the court at Zachary’s hearing that her daughter was a loving person who ‘appreciated the small things in life.’
‘She was the sweetest soul I ever knew,’ Karen Bobo said.
She also pointed at Adams and called him an ‘animal.’ She said Adams has showed ‘absolutely no remorse.’
Karen also said she saw her husband smile for the first time since their daughter went missing 6 ½ years ago after he was sentenced.
‘I didn’t know the man had dimples,’ prosecutor Jennifer Nichols told reporters after the court hearing.
Jason Autry (left) was also charged in the killing but he testified in exchange for immunity. John Dylan Adams (right) is awaiting his first court date