Crime

Ryan Duke indicted on murder charges in mysterious slaying of Tara Grinstead

Ryan Duke hears charges in Tara Grinstead killing

Ryan Alexander Duke said little in court Feb. 23, 2017, as he heard charges against him in the death of Tara Grinstead in October of 2005.
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Ryan Alexander Duke said little in court Feb. 23, 2017, as he heard charges against him in the death of Tara Grinstead in October of 2005.

An Irwin County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Ryan Alexander Duke on murder charges in the 2005 disappearance and slaying of Tara Grinstead.

The grand jury indicted Duke, 33, on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing the death of another person.

The six-count indictment alleges that on or about Oct. 23, 2005, Duke used his hands to kill Grinstead. The document says Duke entered Grinstead’s home at 300 W. Park St. intending to steal from her, then killed her during the burglary.

A break in the decade-old case came in early February when authorities began investigating a new lead that they say pointed them to Duke, who had once been a student at Irwin County High School while Grinstead taught history there. Grinstead was 30 when she disappeared.

Duke and another man, Bo Dukes, have been charged in connection with the case, but Dukes — no relation to Duke — has been implicated only in helping conceal Grinstead’s death, not killing her.

An indictment is a formal accusation in a criminal case and the legal means by which a case proceeds to trial.

Grand jurors in Irwin County on Thursday returned a six-count indictment in the Tara Grinstead slaying in Ocilla, Georgia. This video shows a bailiff handing the indictment to the county court clerk.

Joe Kovac Jr.: 478-744-4397, @joekovacjr

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