Holly Bobo's family supports bill to change murder trials - WKRN News 2

Holly Bobo's family supports bill to change murder trials

Posted: Updated: March 19, 2014 09:25 PM
The Bobo family spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday since an arrest had been made in Holly's disappearance. The Bobo family spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday since an arrest had been made in Holly's disappearance.

The family of Holly Bobo and many other families of crime victims faced disappointment on Tennessee's Capitol Hill Wednesday after an emotional committee hearing.  

Bobo's family and other loved ones of crime victims came together to support a bill that would make a major change to murder trials.

If passed, the bill would admit pictures as evidence at murder trials.

Bobo's mother Karen told News 2 why it was important for her to be there on Wednesday rallying for the cause.

"It's very important that a jury know who she was when she was full of life, full of joy and had a bright future ahead of her," she said while clutching a picture of her daughter.  

"We need to get this bill passed. The picture needs to be shown," added Bobo's father Dana.

The pain for the Bobos is still fresh after murder suspect Zach Adams was charged just two weeks ago for their daughter's kidnapping and death nearly three years after she disappeared from her west Tennessee home.

Other families of crime victims echoed the disappointment as they watched two House committee members say rules of evidence could not be changed because they are made by the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers argued that passing the law could get a murder conviction tossed out on appeal, leaving families to face a second trial.

"I am extremely sympathetic to the families of victims of crime," said Rep.Vance Dennis as he addressed those in the audience. "But the last thing I want to do is have families go through a trial again."

When Rep. Mike Carter, a former judge, addressed the family's victims in the committee audience, he asked them "Do you understand what you are asking for?"

"Yes!" many of them shouted back at the lawmaker.  

With a few nays during a voice vote, the bill was sent to what is called a summer study committee.

That means the measure will not be considered for the rest of this legislative session.

In her first public words since Adams' indictment for her daughter's murder, Karen said, "We are very disappointed that it's going to summer study. Speaking for myself and probably everyone here, we will continue to fight for our victim's rights."

"We are going to try and get the bill passed and do anything to help," Bobo's brother Clint added as he joined his parents and grandmother at the committee hearing.  

Lawmakers said they hope to begin a study of the issue within 90 days.

Opponents pointed to the Supreme Court to change the rules of evidence.

The families of the crime victims vowed to be back next year.

Click here for complete coverage of the Holly Bobo case.

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