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Second suspect charged with murder in Holly Bobo case

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  • Second suspect charged with murder in Holly Bobo case

    DECATURVILLE, TN (WSMV) -A second suspect was indicted Tuesday in the 2011 disappearance of nursing student Holly Bobo.

    A special grand jury met Tuesday in Decatur County and returned indictments of especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree felony murder against 39-year-old Jason Wayne Autry.

    Autry is currently imprisoned at Riverbend State Penitentiary on an unrelated assault charge, and he is due for an arraignment Wednesday at 1 p.m.

    Autry was accused of using a gun in his latest aggravated assault. Because of this, the ATF is also involved in the investigation.

    Bobo was 20 years old when she disappeared outside her Darden, TN, home on April 13, 2011, as her brother saw her being led away from the home between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

    The investigation picked up steam in February 2014 when agents from the TBI and FBI searched several locations in Decatur and surrounding counties, including the home and property of Zachary Adams in Holladay, TN, about 15 miles from the Bobo residence.

    Adams was charged in March with especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree felony murder. He faces an additional charge of coercion of a witness.
    And late tonight:

    Prosecutors plan to indict at least one more person in the Holly Bobo case, according to documents obtained today by The Jackson Sun.

    According to the documents, prosecutors plan to indict Shayne Kyle Austin, who previously had been granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation in the investigation.

    The state voided the immunity agreement because Austin was not completely truthful and forthcoming, according to an email from Assistant District Attorney General Beth Boswell to Austin’s lawyer, Luke Evans. The email was sent on March 27.

    “When we indict your client, I will give you a courtesy call informing you,” Boswell told Evans in the email.


    More specifically, the agreement said, “In exchange for the total cooperation of Shayne Kyle Austin, the State agrees to grant him immunity for all charges arising out of the disposal, destruction, burial and/or concealment of Holly Bobo’s deceased body, conditioned upon him assisting us in recovering the body of Holly Bobo.”
    This is pretty interesting.

    The Bobo case has had a lot of attention around here for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that the whole thing is such a bizarre mystery. Holly Bobo just vanished, with almost no trace whatsoever. She was a very promising young nursing student at UT-Martin, IIRC the first in her family to go to college. She was seen by her brother being led away from her home into the woods one morning before she would have left for school. Because she didn't appear to be under duress, he didn't think anything of it at first, but soon thought it was strange and called 911. A neighbor also called 911 because she heard a female screaming. A small amount of blood was found near the house.

    After that, there was no trace of her whatsoever. No signs of a struggle in the woods where she was led, no other blood, no tire tracks, drag tracks, no witnesses spotting her later, nothing. She walked into the woods, apparently bleeding, and disappeared entirely. Poof.

    That there are now apparently three indictments is quite interesting. Immunity, transactional or use, is not nearly so common as television would have us believe, at least according to my cousin. He "made his bones" as a prosecutor in the juvenile system here in town, and then moved up to the adult system, before moving to a state-level post for higher-profile charges at the state level (usually white collar stuff at that level; think of it sort of like a state-level "special prosecutor"). He's done it all, from prosecuting a 10-year-old boosting a pair of sneakers up to getting a first-degree murder conviction against hardened drug lord and gang member, and all points in between He's now in private practice as a defense attorney, and he's defended it all there, too, from DUI and simple possession to successfully defending a second-degree murder charge ("aggrevated murder" in Tennessee parlance).

    Immunity is mostly rare because murder is seldom a non-personal event. The overwhelming majority of murders, at least around here, are not conspiracies but instead one person deciding that they need to kill another person. That might be a spurned lover or it might be blowing the 7-11 clerk away, but no matter what, it seldom involves more than one person. Ergo, there's seldom any need for giving anyone immunity. Furthermore, immunity is something prosecutors are exceptionally reticent to hand out at all; they much prefer to just bully through investigations further and further until they can get the goods on someone and prosecute them too, and then cut a deal. Frankly, that's just more politically palatable.

    What's more rare than immunity? Having one's immunity withdrawn. Those are usually pretty iron-clad agreements, and someone has to be a real idiot to throw away their immunity, or else they have some really serious skeletons in their closet. There is no word, that I can find, as to whether Austin had transactional immunity (pretty much blanket immunity for anything you did during the time period involved) or use immunity (immunity for specific acts directly related to the crime in question; tricky, because one can get caught up for the kidnapping of someone, while getting immunity for the murder, but the evidence and testimony from the kidnapping can later be used to prosecute for that same murder), but regardless, it seems pretty clear that this Austin fellow got his immunity and then managed to blow it. Bad move.

    All of this also means that the Bobo (presumed) murder is something wildly different than anyone out in public had envisioned before. Prior to tonight, pretty much everyone thought that the Bobo murder was one guy getting a woman and offing her. Now this appears to be at least three guys who plotted to kill her, for reasons as yet not apparent. That's pretty serious. People don't do that around here. That's the stuff of TV, not reality, certainly not of reality in rural western Tennessee.

    It will be interesting to see how this develops.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    Possible remains of Holly Bobo found. Emphasis on possible.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam View Post
      It's her. At least her family finally get to lay her to rest.
      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now