ABBEVILLE, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Wilcox County jury has found Bo Dukes guilty on all counts on charges he concealed the death of a teacher and one-time beauty queen and lying to law enforcement about it.
The verdict was returned around 5 p.m. Thursday. Dukes faced two counts of making a false statement to police, one count of hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal, and one count of concealing a death.
It took about an hour for the jury to deliberate and return the verdict having asked to review one piece of evidence, a video of Bo Dukes speaking with police.
Closing arguments wrapped up shortly after 3 p.m. in the trial of Bo Dukes.
Prosecutors have charged Dukes with concealing the death of Tara Grinstead in 2005, hindering the arrest of her alleged killer, and lying to investigators about his role in the crime.
Wilcox County prosecutors rested their case against Dukes shortly before Noon.
The judge asked Dukes if he wished to testify on his own behalf, and he replied “No”.
Defense attorneys did not present any witnesses.
The incineration of Tara Grinstead's remains in a pecan orchard after she vanished in October 2005 would help keep her death a mystery for more than a decade.
In closing arguments, defense attorney John Fox called the case “a failure organization-wide” for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
In urging the jury to acquit Dukes, Fox said, “You can call it presuming other agencies did their job and followed down leads. But the answer was in their file. All they had to do was read it. They dropped the ball.”
On Wednesday, jurors watched a videotaped confession of Dukes admitting he helped a friend burn the body of the teacher until "it looked like it was all ash."
In his closing, the prosecutor showed an image of a billboard of Grinstead that was put up as searchers tried to find him.
In an impassioned argument, prosecutor Brad Rigby told jurors, “What did Bo Dukes and Ryan Duke do to this beautiful lady? They set her on fire and left her with a tooth that won pageants. The tooth on billboards.”
Rigby added, “The whole defense, in this case, proves Bo Dukes is guilty.”
The trial of Ryan Duke who prosecutors have charged with Grinstead’s murder is scheduled to begin on April 1.