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A second suspect charged in the murder of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Decatur County court.
Jason Autry, 39, fidgeted during his arraignment, telling the judge his cuffs were too tight and his hands were turning purple. Before he was led out, he pleaded for the judge’s attention.
“I want to say again, I’m innocent of these charges,” Autry said. “Hand before God, I’m innocent, sir.”
He continued to proclaim his innocence as officials ushered him toward a prison van.
Autry was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree felony murder in Bobo’s disappearance. The 20-year-old was last seen by her brother outside of the family’s home on the morning of April 13, 2011. Her body wasn’t found.
Police got a break in the case in March, and charged convicted felon Zachary Rye Adams, 29, with her murder. Adams and Autry are described as long-time friends.
Adams also appeared in court Wednesday, and pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of coercion. Prosecutors say Adams threatened to kill his younger brother, who’s also in jail on an unrelated gun charge.
It was revealed in court Tuesday that Adams’ brother told police that he saw Bobo alive in Adams’ home after she disappeared.
Both Autry and Adams are scheduled to appear in court again June 4. A third suspect is expected to be indicted as well, officials said.