OCILLA, Ga. (AP) — Closing arguments have ended in the trial of a Georgia man charged with murdering a popular high school teacher whose disappearance in 2005 remained a mystery for more than a decade.
Prosecutors told the jury Thursday in Irwin County Superior Court that Ryan Duke convicted himself when he told investigators in 2017 that he fatally struck Tara Grinstead while robbing her home for drug money.
Duke’s defense attorneys said Duke was pressured into giving a false confession and the real killer was another man convicted previously of helping dispose of Grinstead’s body.
Duke told investigators he and a friend burned Grinstead’s body in a pecan orchard. Bone fragments matching her DNA were later found there.