Key Witness in Holly Bobo Case, Jason Autry, Sentenced to 19 Years on Federal Weapons Charges

Key Witness in Holly Bobo Case, Jason Autry, Sentenced to 19 Years on Federal Weapons Charges

Jason Autry, who provided critical testimony in the Holly Bobo case, has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison on unrelated weapons charges. Autry’s testimony is now under scrutiny as Zachary Adams seeks to overturn his conviction.

Tennessee, Bollywood Fever: A Tennessee man who played a pivotal role in the conviction of Zachary Adams for the murder of nursing student Holly Bobo has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison on unrelated weapons charges, authorities announced Tuesday.

Jason Autry, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson in Jackson on Monday. Autry had pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition. He was arrested in December 2020 after attempting to flee from a sheriff’s deputy in a rural field where a Marlin rifle was discovered.

Key Witness in Holly Bobo Case, Jason Autry, Sentenced to 19 Years on Federal Weapons Charges
AP

Autry has a history of more than 10 prior felony convictions in state and federal courts. He became a crucial witness during the 2017 trial of Zachary Adams, who was convicted of the murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated rape of Holly Bobo. Adams received a life sentence plus 50 years.

Holly Bobo, 20, disappeared from her family’s home in rural Parsons in April 2011, sparking a massive search operation. Her remains were found more than three years later, in September 2014, in nearby woods, drawing national attention to the case.

Autry struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony, which he delivered with calmness and detail, describing Bobo’s kidnapping, rape, and murder. He claimed to have acted as a lookout as Adams shot Bobo under a bridge near a river.

In return for his cooperation, Hardin County Judge C. Creed McGinley sentenced Autry to eight years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and facilitation of especially aggravated kidnapping in the Bobo case. However, Autry was arrested on the weapons charges just two months after his release in the Bobo case.

The credibility of Autry’s testimony is now being questioned. Zachary Adams filed a petition in January seeking to overturn his conviction, citing new statements from Autry, who claims to have fabricated his testimony to avoid a life sentence.

According to the petition, Autry admitted to a forensic neuropsychologist in December that he concocted his testimony after his lawyer warned he had a high likelihood of conviction. Autry claimed he created his narrative while reviewing discovery evidence in his jail cell, using cellphone data to craft a plausible story.

“He said he just recreated his day and ‘added Holly to it,’” the petition states.

Adams’ attorney, Douglas Bates, argued in court on June 14 that a hearing should be granted to consider Autry’s recantation as new evidence. Prosecutors, however, contend that Adams’ petition should be dismissed without an evidentiary hearing. A judge’s decision on the matter is pending.

The developments in Autry’s legal troubles and the potential impact on Adams’ conviction add a new layer of complexity to the Holly Bobo case, which has already captured significant public attention.

Source: APNews

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Nicholas Edwards

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