Trial for murder of Ga. teacher, beauty queen Tara Grinstead set to begin 16 years after her death

OCILLA, Ga. — More than 16 years after a popular high school teacher vanished from her rural Georgia home, a man is set to stand trial for her murder. The fade of 30-year-old Tara Grinstead, a history teacher and former smasher fagot, after she left an even cookout in October 2005 lingered as an unsolved mystery for more than a decade. then Ryan Duke told investigators in 2017 that he killed Grinstead after breaking into her home near Ocilla to steal drugs. He said he and an accomplice took her body to a pecan grove in a adjacent county and burned it to ash. Defense attorneys say Duke made a false confession under the influence of drugs.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks ] now a jury will decide Duke ’ south destiny at the Irwin County courthouse. superior Court Judge Bill Reinhardt scheduled opening statements from prosecutors and defense attorneys to commence Monday good morning. The estimate seated 12 jurors and six alternates Thursday after just four days of jury selection, news outlets reported. It happened quickly considering the permeant publicity that has surrounded the case always since Grinstead ’ s fade. The court clerk mailed out 800 jury duty notices for the test to ensure a better opportunity of finding enough impartial jurors. A court fight over fund for Duke ’ sulfur legal refutation and the coronavirus pandemic contributed to long delays in the case going to trial. RELATED STORIES: A moment person with a alike diagnose, Bo Dukes, was convicted in 2019 for helping be active and cauterize Grinstead ’ s torso. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

At his sentence, Dukes apologized to Grinstead ’ s family, who spent years seeking tips and holding out hope that she would be found alive. “ Your long suffer has been impossible, ” Dukes said in motor hotel. “ My actions were cowardly, callous, and barbarous. I was more concerned in self-pity and self-preservation than doing the correct thing for Tara and for you. ” [SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter ] It ’ south indecipherable whether Dukes will be called as a witness at the approaching trial. Defense attorneys for Duke say he was home asleep when Grinstead was killed. Agents for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have testified previously that they found deoxyribonucleic acid from both Duke and the slain charwoman on a latex paint boxing glove found in her yard. If convicted of mangle, Duke faces an automatic sentence of biography in prison. Channel 2′s Tony Thomas will be in Ocilla throughout the Tara Grinstead trial. We’ll have all the latest updates on Channel 2 Action News.

Tara Grinstead murder event : Long-await trial for Ryan Duke begins Monday ©2022 Cox Media Group

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