Reaction swift to Holly Bobo verdict: Zach Adams guilty on all 8 counts

SAVANNAH, Tenn. (WKRN) –  Now that a jury has found Zachary Adams guilty in the murder, rape and kidnapping of Holly Bobo, her family is relieved.

The Bobo family gathered on the steps of the courthouse shortly after hearing the verdict. Their pastor spoke on their behalf.

Pastor Don Franks, from Corinth Baptist Church, said the verdict brings relief to their hometown of Parsons, in Decatur County

“It’s been a tough 6 1/2 years,” said. “We believe our county is safer now. We believe justice will be completely served.”

Holly Bobo’s friend, Drew Scott, posted a statement on Facebook:

VERDICT: Jury reached decision in 11 hours

The Bobo family is expected to be in the courtroom Saturday, as the sentencing phase of the trial starts at 10 a.m.

Zach Adams’ attorney will continue to represent him, and says she knew it would be hard to convince a jury of her client’s innocence.

Defense attorney Jennifer Thompson said she prepared her client for bad news. “I thought we needed to plan for a guilty verdict. I told him he had to be stoic, quiet, respectful. I think he took it like a champ. I could see he was turning white.”

But Thompson maintains, “The whole case was based on what people said. There’s absolutely no evidence that linked Zach Adams to Holly Bobo. They seized his cars, went through his house and found no evidence.”

The jury of six women and six men deliberated for 11 hours before presenting their verdict to Judge Creed McGinley. Now the same jury will consider whether Adams should be sentenced to death.

Thompson said she’s worried. “The fact that he could get the death penalty is really frightening to me.”

Some defense witnesses claimed the investigation was bungled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  The defense also claimed there was pressure on investigators to solve the case.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn denied the investigation was flawed, and went on to say, “There was no pressure on my agents. I’m so proud of the job they did on this case. I stand behind every piece of work they’ve done.”

The attorney for Zach Adams is already planning to appeal his conviction.

TIMELINE: Holly Bobo abduction, murder

Click here for complete coverage of the Holly Bobo case.