sunny.png
Sunday April 21st, 2019 8:28PM

Confession, DNA evidence revealed in Georgia teacher slaying

By The Associated Press

OCILLA, Ga. (AP) — A man charged with killing a high school teacher who vanished in 2005 from her rural Georgia home confessed more than a decade later to authorities, who found DNA from both the suspect and victim on a glove recovered at the crime scene, an investigator testified at a pretrial hearing.

Ryan Duke is scheduled to stand trial April 1 for the murder of Tara Grinstead, a history teacher and beauty pageant contestant whose disappearance has haunted rural Irwin County for more than 13 years. An investigator in the case revealed new details on the witness stand Monday as prosecutors sought to persuade a judge to deny the suspect's request for bond.

Superior Court Judge Bill Reinhardt not only refused to grant Duke bond, news outlets reported, but also denied a defense motion to move the trial out of Irwin County because of pretrial publicity. The county of about 9,500 people is located roughly 180 miles (290 kilometers) south of Atlanta.

Before his arrest in February 2017, Duke gave a written confession and revealed details of the crime in a videotaped interview with authorities, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Jason Shoudel testified.

Duke's confession, read in court, said: "Words are useless, but I'm burdened with the murder of Miss Grinstead."

Duke was a former student at the school where Grinstead taught history. Shoudel said the suspect told the GBI he broke into Grinstead's house to steal money for drugs, and when she confronted him he struck her with a fatal blow. The agent said Duke admitted to enlisting a friend to help him burn Grinstead's body in a pecan orchard.

Shoudel also revealed that investigators found a latex glove outside Grinstead's home. Tests on the glove found DNA from both Duke and Grinstead.

Duke's attorneys told the judge the confession was false and given while Duke was under the influence of drugs.

"All they've got is an inconsistent statement from someone who was under the influence of drugs," said defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant.

Shoudel said investigators asked Duke several times if anyone else was with him at Grinstead's home when she was killed.

"Each time he indicated he was by himself the entire time, nobody helped him," Shoudel said.

A second man arrested in the case, Bo Dukes, was a friend of Duke. He has been charged with concealing a death, tampering with evidence, and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

But attorneys for Duke said it was actually Dukes who killed Grinstead, while the only role Duke played was helping to burn the body.

Ryan Duke's brother, Steven Duke, testified that his sibling was afraid of his co-defendant.

"He was scared of what Bo was capable of and he would take the fall or say that he did it to ... make sure that Bo didn't do anything to anybody," Steven Duke told the judge.

Bo Dukes, who had been freed on bond in the Grinstead case, was arrested again in January on charges of rape and false imprisonment. Police in Warner Robins said Dukes threatened two women with a gun and other violence and forced them to his home, where he raped them and held them against their will.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Strong winds down trees, power lines in Gainesville area
Strong winds most of the day Sunday downed trees and power lines across Hall County but there were no reports of major incidents.
9:59PM ( 5 hours ago )
Lanier Tech grad part of winning Daytona 500 team
Josh Shiplett, a Lanier Technical College graduate, is a member of last Sunday's Daytona 500 winning team.
9:00PM ( 6 hours ago )
Keselowski beats flu and Treux, Jr. for Atlanta victory
Brad Keselowski overcame a stomach bug and the competition to score the victory in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
7:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Local/State News
Senior Taliban leaders in Qatar for talks with US envoy
Taliban leaders in Qatar for another round of talks on Afghan peace with Washington's special envoy
3:11AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Rami Malek wins best actor Oscar for 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Rami Malek had difficult moments making "Bohemian Rhapsody," but he has an Oscar to show for it
2:53AM ( 40 minutes ago )
In an upset, 'Green Book' wins best picture at Oscars
The segregation-era road-trip drama "Green Book" was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards, handing Hollywood's top award to a film seen as a feel-good throwback to some but ridiculed as an outdated inversion of "Driving Miss Daisy" by others
2:51AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Vietnam vows 'maximum level' security for Trump-Kim summit
Officials in Hanoi are scrambling to put the finishing touches Monday on preparation for a rushed summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meant to settle one North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear program
1:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
US tariffs hike delay draws cautious welcome, boosts shares
President Donald Trump's decision to extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports has raised cautious optimism in China and boosted Asian shares
1:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Explains: How to verify North Korea's nukes
AP Explains: How to verify North Korea's nukes
1:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Atlanta officer charged in wreck that led driver to lose arm
An Atlanta police officer has been indicted on charges including reckless driving in a wreck that caused another driver to lose an arm
8:57AM ( 1 month ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
Consumer goods companies preparing for climate change impact
The companies behind some of the best-known consumer products are beginning to factor climate change into their business equation
9:03PM ( 6 hours ago )
Congress mulls cap on what Medicare enrollees pay for drugs
Congress is considering ways to change Medicare's prescription plan and cap what people pay for medications
4:43PM ( 10 hours ago )
Average US price of gas jumps 10 cents per gallon, to $2.44
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline is up 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks, to $2.44
2:04PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
'Ugly produce' trend may have limits, as grocers end tests
'Ugly produce' trend may have limits, as some grocers end tests aimed at reducing food waste
12:32PM ( 3 days ago )
Minnesota governor sides with environmentalists on pipeline
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says his administration will continue to appeal a regulatory commission's approval of Enbridge Energy's plan to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline
3:02PM ( 1 week ago )
Dutch fishermen try to avert EU ban on electric shocks
Dutch fisherman are lobbying lawmakers in a last-ditch attempt to avert a European Union ban on the practice of using electric shocks to stun fish before scooping them up in nets
11:27AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Strong winds down trees, power lines in Gainesville area
Strong winds most of the day Sunday downed trees and power lines across Hall County but there were no reports of major incidents.
9:59PM ( 5 hours ago )
Lanier Tech grad part of winning Daytona 500 team
Josh Shiplett, a Lanier Technical College graduate, is a member of last Sunday's Daytona 500 winning team.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:00PM ( 6 hours ago )
Keselowski beats flu and Treux, Jr. for Atlanta victory
Brad Keselowski overcame a stomach bug and the competition to score the victory in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
7:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Washout: Dawson County road repairs to begin Monday
Dawson County Public Works is hoping to begin repairs this week to a road that was washed out by heavy rains Thursday morning.
4:00PM ( 11 hours ago )
GMRC posts survey as it updates Regional Plan
The survey will be available till the end of March.
4:00PM ( 11 hours ago )