• New evidence revealed during hearing for man accused of murdering Tara Grinstead

    By: Tony Thomas

    Updated:

    IRWIN COUNTY, Ga. - There are new developments in a case involving a Georgia teacher who disappeared in 2005. There was a hearing Monday in Irwin County to determine whether a South Georgia man accused of murdering the beauty queen and teacher could soon be back on the streets.

    Ryan Duke asked to be released on bond, but the judge denied his request. He was arrested in 2017, 12 years after Tara Grinstead disappeared. 

    [READ MORE: Man arrested in connection with 2005 disappearance of Georgia teacher]

    Since then, he's been locked up in Irwin County.

    Stephen Duke, Ryan's brother, took the witness stand Monday, trying to show his brother is trustworthy enough to not flee the state or threaten witnesses if he's allowed out on bond until his trial.


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    After Stephen Duke testified, prosecutors called Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Jason Shoudel to push the judge to keep Grinstead's alleged killer behind bars.

    Prosecutors said he confessed last year to killing Grinstead in 2005 during an attempted burglary.
    Authorities believe Duke's friend, Bo Dukes, later helped him repeatedly burn Grinstead's body in a pecan orchard. 

    [READ MORE: Bo Dukes, charged in Tara Grinstead case, in custody after 5-day manhunt, police say]

    Duke's defense lawyers insist he was under the influence of drugs and gave a false confession. 

    For years, there has been discussion of a single glove found outside Grinstead's home in the days following her disappearance.

    Shoudel said DNA tests found both Ryan Duke's DNA and palm print on the latex, along with Grinstead's DNA.

    The judge spoke with lawyers Monday evening, trying to figure out where the case goes next and if they can find a jury by the predicted trial date of April 1.

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