Lawyers request change of venue Tara Grinstead murder case
ATLANTA - Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree the court should move the trial for the man accused of killing a former Georgia beauty queen and Ocilla High School teacher.
Defense attorneys argued that 33-year-old Ryan Alexander Duke could not get a fair trial in Irwin County based on the publicity of the case.
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Tara Grinstead was reported missing in October 2005 when she didn't show up for work at a school in rural Irwin County. The case went cold until new information led to the arrest in February 2017 of Duke, a former student at the school where Grinstead taught.
But authorities have since been tight-lipped about what led to the arrest and any motive behind the slaying.
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Duke is alleged to have burglarized the teacher's home in Ocilla, about 190 miles south of Atlanta, and used his hands to kill her inside the residence, according to warrants obtained by FOX 5 News. He removed her body from the home with the intent of concealing her death, the warrants stated.
Duke was indicted in April on two counts of felony murder and one count each of malice murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing the death of another.
A second man, Bo Dukes, was indicted in June on charges of concealing a death, tampering with evidence and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
There was no ruling on the motion Monday.
Irwin County Judge Bill Reinhardt set an April 1 trial date.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report