WILCOX COUNTY, Ga. — A jury in Wilcox County has reached a guilty verdict in the trial against the man accused of hiding a school teacher’s body following her murder in 2005.
Bo Dukes was accused of hiding and burning Tara Grinstead’s body in a pecan orchard following her killing. He was found guilty on all four counts against him.
The jury spent four days hearing testimony to decide whether or not Dukes lied during a 2016 interview with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation about his involvement in the moving and burning of Grinstead's body.
It took the jury less than an hour to come back with the verdict.
Channel 2's Tony Thomas spoke with Grinstead's sister, Anita Gattis, following the verdict. She told him she felt like justice was finally being served.
"It's phenomenal. I mean, I know it's a baby step, you know? One down, two to go. But I feel like we're finally getting justice for Tara," Gattis said.
"How hard was it for you and your parents in there?" Thomas asked Gattis.
"Mr. Rigby's closing argument was very powerful. Very difficult," Gattis said.
Dukes' friend, Ryan Duke, is charged with Grinstead's murder. His trial is set for April 1.
Grinstead, a teacher and former beauty queen, was reported missing from her Ocilla home in October 2005.
Arrest warrants accused Dukes of hiding the body between Oct. 23 and Oct. 28, 2005 on a farm off Bowens Mill Highway just outside Fitzgerald. Records show the farm is owned by a relative of Dukes.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and local Georgia authorities arrested Ryan Duke on Feb. 24, 2017 and charged him with murder, burglary, aggravated assault and concealing a death.
The GBI said someone walked into a sheriff's office a month before with information that led to several new interviews and Duke's arrest.
Duke graduated from Irwin County High School three years before Grinstead’s disappearance and was never on the radar as a suspect, the GBI said at the time.
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