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Holly Bobo Trial: TBI agent testifies big mistakes were made in case

(PHOTO: WZTV)

Day five of the Holly Bobo trial included testimony corroborating the state's star-witness testimony and the mistakes by the agency investigating the nursing student's disappearance in April 2011.

Prosecutors called Victor Dinsmore to the stand on Friday, the man co-conspirator and state witness Jason Autry told jurors was a drug supplier Autry and defendant Zach Adams would approach for drug buys, according to a report from WZTV.

THE DRUG DEALER

Testifying against Adams in court on Thursday, Autry recounted how the day of Bobo's murder Zach Adams, Dylan Adams, Shayne Austin, and Autry all went to Dinsmore's house to get drugs. Autry also testified it was there Zach Adams and Austin got into a fight over "who hit it first," referring to the rape of Holly Bobo after she was kidnapped. Dinsmore corroborated the events, saying Adams and Austin did get into a fight at his residence stating the same words. Dinsmore says he, Zach Adams, and Shayne Austin were all close given each lived just miles from one another. Dinsmore said that changed after Bobo's disappearance, with Adams going from seeing Dinsmore every day to not stopping by for weeks.

Dinsmore also testified the gun found by investigators was thanks to his assistance. As it turns out, Shayne Austin later traded Dinsmore the alleged murder weapon for 12 morphine pills. Unaware the gun, or Austin were connected to Bobo's murder, Dinsmore says he gave the gun to his wife to protect herself "because of what happened to Holly."

It was only later that Dinsmore claimed he told his wife to get rid of the gun because "it might have a body on it," meaning it could have been used by Austin in a murder. After moving away to Indiana, Dinsmore returned to Tennessee in May this year, helping investigators find the area where his wife had discarded the gun. It was that gun that investigators now say Zach Adams used to shoot Holly Bobo in the head, killing her.

Defense attorney's seized on the opportunity to paint Dinsmore as a man who was more involved in Bobo's murder.

Attorneys pointed to Dinsmore's close relationship with the suspects and the fact many of Bobo's items were found in close proximity to his property. They also pointed out after Holly's disappearance, Zach Adams hid the pickup truck used in the murder on Dinsmore's property. Adams' attorney Jennifer Thompson also questioned Dinsmore on other weapons he owned both before and after Bobo's disappearance along with his past conviction for rape.

It was the clearest path the defense has taken during the trial thus far, the goal to place Dinsmore as more of a player in the events on April 13, 2011 and as a possible suspect who could take the spotlight off her client Zach Adams.

THE TBI AGENT

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Brent Booth was among the first to arrive at Holly Bobo's Swan Johnson Road home the day of her disappearance. Taking the lead on the investigation, Booth says they worked the case as a "search and recovery" since it was unknown what took place.

Booth recounted how information was distributed to issue an AMBER Alert for Bobo, and how he and others followed the pings from Bobo's cell phone. Booth says the phone "lingered" in the area of Yellow Springs Road and agents followed the trail searching every spot.

Despite the efforts of all the agencies involved, Booth says investigators searched until 2:30 the next morning but still had no leads on a suspect and what happened to Holly.

Booth says investigators later found evidence belonging to Holly on Yellow Springs Road and continued to take field tips from residents. Tips stating she was still alive but possibly held captive were prioritized since the goal was to find her alive.

Agents also focused on convicted sex offenders in the area given Holly's young age and the men could fit the profile.

However, Booth admitted a critical mistake. Booth says the case agent taking calls and tips "didn't read every report thoroughly." Booth says they were being flooded with information and it was possible agencies working the case were overwhelmed. "When it comes down to it, we're (TBI) not a big agency," Booth testified.

Given the oversight, Booth says they had heard the names of Zach Adams, Dylan Adams, Jason Autry, and Shayne Austin, but never checked them out or checked out their alibis. Booth says he realized "it was a big mistake."

Booth says it was not until January 25, 2014 that the agency got a call which re-focused the investigation. While he could testify to what was said, Booth says the investigation immediately shifted it's focus on those involved. After interviewing Dylan Adams, Booth says Zach Adams became a focus of the investigation along with the others.

Agents also poured through the case files, Booth saying they found information they "had and didn't realize we had." After interviewing the men and their alibis in 2014, Booth says he found what they told investigators was false.

It was the renewed re-focusing that quickly led to charges for all involved. After charging the Adams brothers, Autry, Austin and others, information began to flow in. Bobo's remains would also be found just miles from Austin's and Adams' home, and Dinsmore would later help them find the alleged murder weapon.

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