IRWIN COUNTY, Ga. — Ryan Duke was back in court Monday morning to be sentenced for concealing the death of Tara Grinstead.
Last week, Duke was acquitted on five of the six charges against him.
Monday in court, before Judge Bill Reinhardt made the final decision, members of the Grinstead family took the stand to make impact statements.
Tara’s sister, Anita Grinstead Gattis, was the last to speak and she told stories of attesting to Tara's character and her impact on the Ocilla community.
She then pleaded to the Judge for Duke to receive the maximum sentence.
“Ryan Duke has been in jail for five years at the Irwin County Detention Center. Personally, I have lived in a prison of hell for almost 17 years,” she said.
”The maximum he can serve on the charge of concealing a death is 10 years. That’s only seven years less than the sentence that I and the rest of Tara’s family and friends have experienced due to his revolting and villainous actions," she added.
At the end of the impact statements, along with statements from the defense and prosecution, Judge Reinhardt sentenced Duke to a maximum of 10 years to be served in prison.
“You don’t know, really, the pain your actions cause until somebody reminds you that everyday, what they live with is they can’t find Tara. Every day. They couldn’t find Tara,” Judge Reinhart said in court. “It is true that despite whatever your selfish feelings were for not coming forward, you had the power to stop that pain for years and years."
Ryan Duke has already served five years in prison which makes him eligible for parole.