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Bond denied, new evidence revealed during hearing for man accused of killing Tara Grinstead

GBI agents say Duke's DNA matches DNA found in a latex glove outside Grinstead's home in 2005.

MACON, Ga. — On Monday, an Irwin County Superior Court Judge denied bond for the man accused of killing Tara Grinstead.

She's the Ocilla teacher and beauty queen who vanished in 2005. 

Ryan Duke's lawyers argued he isn't a "flight risk" and doesn't pose a threat to the community, but the judge didn't agree.

During the 5 hours of arguments, GBI Special Agent Jason Shoudel revealed new evidence in the case. 

In December, 13 WMAZ reported on a leaked confession that Duke allegedly gave GBI agents in February 2017. Monday, Shoudel discussed that in court. 

"He admitted that he was the person responsible," said Shoudel.

Duke told investigators that he went to Grinstead's house to steal money for drugs and alcohol and didn't know she was there.

When she came up behind him, he hit her in the face and ran. Later, he returned with gloves and a quilt to move Grinstead.

Then asked his friend Bo Dukes to help burn her body on a pecan farm.

Duke's brother, Stephen, took the witness stand Monday for the defense. They argued that 2017 confession to GBI agents is false.

"From my understanding, it's just that he was aware of what happened, but that Bo had done it," said Stephen Duke. "He was scared of what Bo was capable of and that he would take the fall, or say that he did it, to make sure that Bo didn't do anything to anybody."

Shoudel says nearly all the evidence points to Ryan Duke being the culprit.

"The DNA on the glove is a match to Ryan," said Shoudel. 

According to Shoudel, there is no physical evidence that Bo Dukes was ever in Grinstead's home. 

Shoudel says Ryan originally corroborated Bo's narrative, both leading investigators to the same place on the pecan farm where Shoudel says investigators eventually found pieces of bones that they believe are Grinsteads.

"They destroyed her body," said Shoudel. 

Shoudel also told the court that Bo Dukes is the one who leaked the confession in December 2018.

Ryan Duke's trial is set to begin April 1st in Irwin County.

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