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‘Reputations destroyed:’ Read Bo Dukes' speech to courtroom at Tara Grinstead sentencing

Bo Dukes, the man convicted of hiding Tara Grinstead's death, spoke to her family at his sentencing on Friday

ABBEVILLE, Ga. — One of the men connected to the Tara Grinstead case was sentenced Friday morning in Wilcox County Superior Court. 

After a four-day trial and guilty verdict this week, Judge Robert Chasteen, Jr. sentenced Bo Dukes to the maximum sentence of 25 years for lying to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and concealing Grinstead's death.

Dukes even spoke for himself at the hearing, struggling to say words without choking up.

RELATED: 'I failed Tara Grinstead:' Bo Dukes sentenced to 25 years, speaks at his own hearing

RELATED: Tara Grinstead Case: Who is Bo Dukes?

Below is a full transcript of what Dukes said in the courtroom:

'I’m thankful for this opportunity to address the court. 

To Tara Grinstead’s family, I am truly sorry. Your long suffering has been unimaginable. My actions are cowardly, callous and cruel. I was more interested in self-pity and self-preservation than doing the right thing for Tara and for you. I pray for your forgiveness.

I apologize to those who were cast under a cloud of suspicion for so long. Reputations with their friends and family destroyed. I can never undo that damage and I sincerely apologize. 

To local communities, I’m sorry for the years of uncertainty, of suspicion and mistrust placed even on the law enforcement community by my actions. 

I apologize to my own my own family… my mother, and to Brooke Sheridan and her family. My actions and failures I am responsible for alone. 

I failed Tara Grinstead, I failed her family, I failed the local community and I hope these proceedings have given some closure to the many people hurt by my actions. I want each of you to know I am truly remorseful. Thank you.'

Missed any part of our trial coverage or want to see full testimony from each witness? Check out our YouTube playlist of the complete trial here.


DAY 1: 'It takes 1,200 degrees to burn human bones:' Opening statements wrap up in first day of Bo Dukes' trial

DAY 2: Bo Dukes and Ryan Duke's names were in reports since 2005, retired GBI agent says

DAY 3: 'It's stuff you can't even tell a therapist:' GBI interview footage of Bo Dukes shown at trial

DAY 4: Bo Dukes' girlfriend says he suffered from panic attacks, suicidal thoughts