Pretrial appeal further slows missing teacher case

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia’s highest court has granted a pretrial appeal to a man charged with the 2005 slaying of a high school teacher whose disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade.

The Georgia Supreme Court issued an order Thursday saying it will hear Ryan Duke’s appeal that he’s entitled to state funding for expert witnesses.

Duke is charged with murder in the killing of teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead.

FILE – This Feb. 22, 2017, file photo provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows Ryan Duke. Duke, charged with killing teacher Tara Grinstead in 2005, has been granted a pretrial appeal by the Georgia Supreme Court. (Georgia Bureau of Investigation via AP, File)

The trial judge has twice denied Duke’s request that the state pay for expert defense witnesses, saying Duke gave up his right to indigent services when he declined representation by public defenders in favor of private attorneys who took his case for free.

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