The Douglas Enterprise

Grinstead Murder Suspect Pleas ‘Not Guilty’ After Waiving Arraignment

Sources and legal experts expect Duke’s attorneys to request a change of venue for the trial.

The man suspected of murdering Ocilla teacher Tara Grinstead waived his arraignment and did not appear in court late last week, therefore entering pleas of “not guilty” to all 11 charges he faces.
Ryan Duke is faces 11 total charges related to the death of disappearance of the former beauty queen and popular educator, who vanished more than 11 years ago in Ocilla. The most serious of Duke’s charges include three counts of murder (Malice Murder and two counts of Felony Murder), Aggravated Assault, Concealing a Death, and Burglary.
According to a recent indictment handed down by an Irwin County Grand Jury, Duke “used his hands” to kill Grinstead inside her Ocilla home during a botched burglary. He and a close friend, Bo Dukes, who has also been charged in connection with Grinstead’s disappearance, are then alleged to have “destroyed” the former beauty queen’s body.
Ryan Duke remains incarcerated in the Irwin County Detention Center. Bo Dukes was arrested and charged with Concealing a Death, Tampering with Evidence, and Hindering the Apprehension of a Criminal. He was charged with these crimes in Ben Hill County in early March and released from custody on bond the same day he was arrested.
Duke is being represented by the Public Defender’s Office.
Sources and legal experts expect Duke’s attorneys to request a change of venue for the trial.

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