Tennessee

UPDATE: Holly Bobo's mother passes out on witness stand during testimony

Holly Bobo's mother collapsed on Monday while testifying during the trial for a man accused of murdering Tennessee nursing student.

The disappearance of Bobo, a talented, church-going nursing student everyone seemed to like, transformed the peaceful Decatur County town of about 2,400 people into a panicked whirlwind.

Bobo was 20 years old when she went missing from her home in Parsons in April 2011. Her remains were found three years later in a wooded area.

 

Zachary Adams is one of three men charged in the crime. Opening statements begin Monday, and new evidence is expected to be revealed in court.

Adams has pleaded not guilty. So have two other men - Jason Autry and Adams' brother, John Dylan Adams. They also face kidnapping, rape and murder charges. Their trials have not been scheduled.

Adams faces the death penalty if convicted at a trial that caps an investigation Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwynn has called the most exhaustive and expensive his agency ever conducted.

During opening statements, prosecutor Paul Hagerman said Zach Adams allegedly made statements to others he drugged Bobo after kidnapping her then raped her and killed her. The defense refuted the allegations and described intense pressure for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to make arrests in the case.

Karen Bobo's testimony

Holly Bobo's mother, Karen Bobo, took the stand and described the day her daughter disappeared. She said she last saw her daughter studying in the kitchen at the family's Decatur County home.

Karen Bobo said on the morning Holly disappeared, someone told her they got a call from a neighbor saying they heard screams coming from their home.

As the 911 call played in court, Karen broke down in tears.

Shortly after, Karen collapsed on the stand as prosecutors were asking her about physical evidence for the case.

After she received medical attention, the trial resumed. The judge refused a request from the defense for a mistrial, saying Karen Bobo did not faint for sympathy but collapsed due to a medical condition.

Karen Bobo resumed her testimony, saying she taught Zach Adams in the fourth grade. She also described her encounters with the defendant, Zach Adams, and frequent conversations with law enforcement officials while trying to find her daughter.

Clint Bobo's testimony

Holly Bobo's brother Clint Bobo took the stand to recount the day his sister disappeared. He told prosecutors he woke up to the dog barking and thought a utility vehicle of some sort was in the driveway.

Shortly after he woke up, he said he heard a male and female voice outside and raised the blinds to see silhouettes near the home's carport.

Clint said he recognized Holly's voice as the female voice and believed the male voice was Holly's boyfriend Drew Scott.

He also mentioned seeing blood in the carport, which he thought was from a turkey as Drew had been out hunting that morning. He said he did not think it could be Holly's blood.

John Babb, a man who owned propety near-by the Bobo family for years, and Tony Webber, a former Decatur County deputy who was on-scene the morning Bobo went missing, both testified Monday.

Court ended for the day when the defense lawyer asked for more time to review the case file as it pertained to Webber's involvement. Webber testified he hadn't seen the case file in six since he handed it over to the TBI for the investigation.

The trial is set to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.


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