Decatur Co. sheriff says state ‘had to make deal with the devil’ in Holly Bobo case

Local News

DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Holly Bobo case has come to an end this week.

Jason Autry was the final defendant charged in connection to the 20-year-old nursing student’s 2011 murder to learn his fate. Autry was sentenced to eight years for his involvement in Bobo’s kidnapping, rape and murder.

Autry will soon be a free man as a part of his deal for the six years he has already served since being charged in 2014. Officials with the District Attorney’s Office said the Bobo family approved the deal after Autry testified against Holly’s killer, Zach Adams.

Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd said although the legal process may be over, he doesn’t think the punishment was enough for Autry.

“Was justice served for Holly? Yes, but at a cost,” Byrd said. “The state had to make a deal with the devil to get Zach Adams prosecuted. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I understand it.”

Adams was found guilty by a jury in 2017 and sentenced to life in prison. His brother, Dylan Adams, was sentenced to 35 years in a plea agreement.

“I don’t think he should get off so lightly.  In my opinion all three of them should be hanging in this big oak tree on the backside of this courthouse,” Byrd said.

But some hope that the Bobo family is finally able to find some peace as her case comes to a close.

“This event changed our community.  We were probably naive to what was going on in the world around us,” Pastor Don Franks said.

Sheriff Byrd says while Bobo’s death forever changed Decatur County, there were some positive things that have come out of her life. Byrd says his department responds to calls quicker and investigates more thoroughly because of her murder.

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