The Latest: Jurors find man guilty in teacher’s death
ABBEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a man accused in teacher’s death (all times local):
A jury has convicted a Georgia man of concealing the death of a teacher whose slaying remained a mystery for more than a decade after her body was burned to ash and bone fragments in a rural pecan orchard.
Bo Dukes was the first of two suspects to stand trial in the 2005 death of Tara Grinstead. The fate of the teacher and former beauty queen didn’t come to light until the men were arrested in 2017.
Prosecutors in Wilcox County charged 34-year-old Dukes with covering up Grinstead’s death by lying to police in a 2016 interview about the case. But Dukes’s defense attorney said they failed to prove he intentionally lied.
News outlets report it took the jury less than an hour to convict Dukes on four counts, including two of making a false statement, hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealing the death of another.
Dukes’s friend, Ryan Duke, is charged with murder in Grinstead’s death. His trial is scheduled for April 1.
A Georgia prosecutor says a man charged with hiding a slain teacher’s death inflicted “more pain” when he lied to police as the woman remained missing a decade later.
Jurors in Wilcox County heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of 34-year-old Bo Dukes. He’s charged with concealing a death by lying to police about his role in the October 2005 death of Tara Grinstead. Her disappearance remained a mystery until Dukes and a friend were charged in 2017.
District Attorney Brad Rigby told the jury Dukes sought to protect himself in 2016 when he denied to police that he confessed to an Army buddy in 2006.
Defense attorney John Fox said Dukes didn’t lie, but couldn’t recall a decade-old drunken confession.
Dukes later confessed to police in 2017.