Suspected Tara Grinstead killer appears in court

Ryan Alexander Duke makes first court appearance

He stood before the Irwin County Court judge with his head down. His arms and legs were shackled. He was dressed in a green and white striped jail-issued jump suit.

Ryan Alexander Duke is now 33 years old. What brought him before Judge Heather Culpepper on Thursday is what GBI agents said he did 11 years ago when he was 21.

Duke was arrested Wednesday and charged with killing Tara Grinstead. The Ocilla High School teacher and local beauty queen disappeared from the small town without a trace in October 2005.

Her body was never found.

During Thursday's hearing, magistrate court judge Culpepper read arrest warrants submitted by a GBI investigator.

In addition to the murder charge, they alleged that Duke burglarized Grinstead's home at 300 west park St., committed aggravated assault on her by using his hands, and then concealed her body.
 
Duke declined to ask for a commitment hearing, at which investigators would have to describe the evidence against him.
 
Culpepper order Duke held without bond and told him the case would be transferred to Irwin County Superior Court.
 
She told him the next grand jury session begins April 12.

GBI agents held a news conference Thursday announcing Duke's arrest - a major break in the 11-year-old case that authorities said was "never cold."

Duke was a former student at the school where Grinstead taught.

RAW VIDEO: GBI announce arrest in Grinstead case

As Culpepper read the list of charges against Duke, he stood before her the entire time with his head down, not looking up at her once.

GBI agents during the news conference issued few details about the case, but a news release states they're continuing search to find Grinstead's remains.

While reading the charges, the judge stated Duke is accused of burglary - breaking into Grinstead's 300 West Park St., Ocilla, home. Culpepper also stated that Duke is accused of using "his hands in an offensive manner with the intent to cause bodily harm," to Grinstead and "concealing" the body.

VIDEO: Connie Grinstead responds to arrest in daughter's death

Warrant for Ryan Duke 1 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 2 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 3 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 4 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 5 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 6 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 7 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Warrant for Ryan Duke 8 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

>

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment