Pretrial appeal dismissed in 2005 slaying of teacher

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s highest court has ruled that it lacks authority to hear a pretrial appeal from a man charged with killing a high school teacher whose disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade.

The state Supreme Court in March delayed Ryan Duke’s murder trial so it could consider whether it had jurisdiction to hear his emergency pretrial appeal. In a unanimous opinion published Monday, the high court concluded it does not.

Jury selection had been scheduled to begin April 1 in Duke’s trial. He’s charged with murder in the October 2005 death of teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead in rural Irwin County.

Duke’s attorneys had sought to overturn the trial judge’s decision to deny Duke funding to pay for expert witnesses in DNA, false confessions and psychology.

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