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Man who previously confessed to killing Georgia teacher is acquitted of murder

Tara Grinstead
Posted at 9:51 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 12:51:01-04

OCILLA, Ga. — A jury has found a man accused of killing a popular high school teacher in 2005 not guilty of murder.

Tara Grinstead vanished from rural Irwin County, Georgia. She was last seen leaving a cookout.

Ryan Duke had told investigators in 2017 he killed Grinstead and helped Bo Dukes burn her body.

Duke went as far as telling Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents details that had not been made public.

But when he took the witness stand during his trial, he insisted he was innocent and that it was his friend who had killed her.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the jury acquitted Duke of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and burglary but found him guilty of concealing a death.

Grinstead’s body has never been found. However, her DNA was found in bone fragments located in the area that Duke said she was burned.

Duke will be sentenced Monday.