BOBO TRIAL - THE DEFENSE
Updated: Aug 17, 2018
THE BOBO TRIAL – THE DEFENSE
Former TBI agent Terry Dicus testified for the defense on Tuesday, the 8th day of the trial, and the theme of his testimony was that Terry Britt was responsible for the death of Holly Bobo and that his investigation cleared Zach Adams. “I was wasting my time investigating these idiots.” Dicus testified. He was referring to Adams, Autry, Austin and Dylan Adams. He said cell phone pings showed Holly’s phone was moving throughout the morning on the day she was abducted. He said at 8:17am she was on her “home tower” and at 8:26 she was on the “next” tower. Dicus said he was focusing on people who did not have a good alibi. Zach Adams said he was at a gas station and a business in Parsons on the day Holly disappeared. No witnesses were called to corroborate this alibi. Dicus says he made the determination that Adams was not involved in the crime.
Dicus based his opinion of Britt’s guilt on his history of sex offenses and the fact he lived near the Bobo home. Dicus also said Britt’s alibi was “garbage. Britt said he and his wife had been involved in remodeling their home that day and had gone to a certain store to buy a bath tub. Dicus says no one at the store remembers anyone matching their description. He said Britt’s voice was similar to a voice Clint heard and Britt may have changed his appearance after the abduction. During a search of Britt’s home it was discovered his computer contained videos depicting abduction and rape. Cadaver dogs picked up scents of human decomposition on shovels, an ax and a hammer near Britt’s home, however Dicus testified he didn’t think the dogs were accurate. I have not heard any testimony indicating Holly’s body was buried. Britt’s phone was tapped and his home was bugged. He was never charged.
Under cross examination Dicus said he was not aware of any statements Adams had made regarding killing Holly Bobo. Dicus was removed from the case before Jason Autry began cooperating with police. In rebuttal, the prosecution called former TBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Van Hooser to the stand. He testified he replaced Dicus as the TBI case agent because Dicus had lost his objectivity and developed “tunnel vision” regarding one particular suspect.
Deputy U.S. Marshall John Walker testified he interviewed Britt in jail as a favor to Agent Dicus. Walker did not advise Britt of his right to silence prior to the interview, even though Britt was in custody at the time of the interview. Walker said he did not read Britt his rights because he was not interviewing him to get testimonial evidence, but he asked Britt to tell him where Holly Bobo’s body was located. It seems if Britt could reveal where Holly’s body was located, that would have been a pretty good piece of evidence. Britt initially said he didn’t recognize Holly’s name and said he couldn’t tell where the body was because he didn’t know where the body was.
Part of Walker’s testimony suggested that at one point in the interview, Britt offered to plead guilty to something (not clear exactly what) in reference to the murder. After Walker outlined his theory of what happened, Britt said, “Looks like you got it all figured out. I can just plead guilty and you can close the case.” That statement could have been an offer to plead guilty or it could have been a totally sarcastic remark. Britt also allegedly asked how quickly he could get out of jail if he “gave” them something regarding the investigation.
On cross examination prosecution attorneys pointed out the fact that much of what Walker testified to was not in his report.
Dick Adams, grandfather of Zach Adams, testified Dylan Adams was home in the bed when Dick Adams left the house that morning. He said he saw Dylan, Zach and Shayne Austin on the interstate later that day. Mr. Adams explained he might be confused about some dates because he had lost his wife a couple of weeks before Holly’s disappearance. He said he did not recall telling investigators they should “check all of Zach’s friends.”
Kristie Gutgsell was working with a bail bond company at the time of Holly’s disappearance. She testified her company made bond for Zach Adams a week or so before Holly was abducted and when she saw him he had scratches. Whether these are the same scratches Rebecca Earp described and the FBI agent photographed two weeks later is a question the jury will debate.
Jonathan Reeves, president of JDR Telecom Solutions testified said Holly and Zach Adams phones were in separate places in Decatur County that morning from about 8:17am until 9:10am. Reeves said there were “stark differences” between his findings and those of TBI Agent Frizzell. He said his study showed Adams and Autry both being in the same sector of the Birdsong Tower at 9:50am. That information agreed with Frizzell’s testimony.
Zach Adams did not testify in his own defense however the jury will be instructed by the judge this cannot be held against Adams.
The defense rested at the end of the day on Wednesday, the 9th day of the trial.
Jim Leach served as Special Agent in Charge for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His book, “You Can Tell ME, a simple guide to effective interviewing” can be found at Amazon.com.