Attorneys for Ryan Duke file more requests ahead of trial in Tara Grinstead case

Attorneys for Ryan Duke file more requests ahead of trial in Tara Grinstead case

OCILLA, GA (WALB) - Attorneys for the man accused of killing Tara Grinstead have filed more requests with the court.

That includes asking the judge to allow the defendant, Ryan Duke, to sit at the table closest to the jury during the trial.

Duke's trial is set to begin in Irwin County on April 1, 2019. He is charged with murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing Tara Grinstead's death.

The defense's motion, filed with the Irwin County Clerk of Superior Court's office Monday, argues that state prosecutors typically sit at the table closest to the jury during a jury trial.

However, attorneys for Duke write that there's no rule in Georgia requiring or permitting the state to take that table.

They are asking Superior Court Judge Bill Reinhardt to allow Duke and his attorneys to sit at the table closest to the jury box when the trial begins April 1.

The motion cited multiple previous cases.

One said a defendant's "proximity to the jury will have an enormous influence on how jurors perceive him."

Attorneys for Ryan Duke also filed a written notice of intention to offer alibi.

The notice said the defense plans to argue that Duke was at his home in Fitzgerald during the hours the prosecution will argue Grinstead was killed.

According to the indictment, the prosecution alleges Grinstead was killed "on or about the 23rd day of October, 2005."

Duke's defense attorneys write in the notice that he was at home with his brother, Stephen that night.

The notice also states that the other man charged in Grinstead's case, Bo Dukes, along with another man, who has since died, were at the home that night as well.

The defense argues in the alibi notice that the other man and Bo Dukes left the house at some point that night.

The defense claims Ryan Duke's brother, Stephen, was asleep in his room at the house in Fitzgerald, and that Ryan Duke was asleep in another part of the home at the time.

This is all in response to the prosecution requesting written notice of Ryan Duke's alibi prior to the trial.

Bo Dukes, the man charged with covering up Grinstead’s death, is set to start trial for his charges in the Grinstead case in Wilcox County on Monday, March 18, 2019.

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