OCILLA, GA (WALB) - Ryan Duke was denied bond in a hearing Monday. Duke is accused in the 2005 disappearance and death of Tara Grinstead, an Irwin County teacher.
Judge Bill Reinhardt denied the defense’s request for a $10,000 bond as day one of the hearing wrapped up around 6 p.m.
The hearing will continue Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
On Monday, the lead Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agent on the case testified.
Prosecutors brought in Shoudel as a witness to explain what Dukes told investigators during past interviews.
GBI Special agent Jason Shoudel was on the stand for more than four hours, simply because the prosecutors wanted the judge to hear why Duke’s accused behaviors should influence his bond.
One of the major revelations from agent Shoudel involved a glove that was found in Tara Grinstead’s yard that had the DNA of both Ryan Duke and Tara Grinstead inside it.
Shoudel also addressed both Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes separate confessions
The agent said Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes both explained how the body was disposed of, and they both showed the GBI the same exact spot where they said the body was burned.
Shoudel also said that a number of times, Ryan Duke confessed to going into Grinstead’s home, hitting her and carrying her out to dispose of her body in a pecan orchard.
The defense says that confession was false.
They asked the agent about whether he asked Duke if anyone else was with him during the alleged murder.
“Numerous times during the interview, if there was somebody else there, that you know, you didn’t tell me about it. Each time he indicated he was by himself the entire time, nobody helped him. He, once again, multiple times, said he was by himself, nobody else was with him," said Shoudel.
Shoudel also said when Duke confessed, he didn’t appear to be under the influence. He also said that in the past, when an alleged false confession summary from the GBI was leaked, he investigated a Gmail account and found that Bo Dukes leaked the documents.
Ryan Duke’s brother, Steven Duke, testified on his behalf.
He addressed his brother’s “fear” of Bo Dukes.
“He was scared of what Bo was capable of and he would take the fall or say that he did it to keep Bo...to make sure that Bo didn’t do anything to anybody,” said Steven.
Ryan Duke’s defense asked the court to set a 10-thousand dollar.
Defense arguing that Duke showed remorse.
They argue Ryan Duke was asked by a quote "very scary individual" to help dispose of Grinstead's body.
Throughout the hearing Ryan Duke’s defense referred to Bo Dukes, who is charged with multiple counts of helping hide Grinstead’s body.
Ryan Duke's defense brought up recent charges against the other man charged in this case, Bo Dukes.
Dukes is facing charges like tampering with evidence and concealing Grinstead's death.
Ryan Duke’s defense questioned GBI Agent Jason Shoudel about Bo Dukes’ recent charges in Warner Robins.
Police there arrested Dukes and charged him with sexually assaulting two women.
Defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant questioned the agent about whether it would be important for him to follow up on the charges against Bo Dukes, because they are crimes against women.
Reinhardt also denied the defense’s motion to change the venue, which means the trial will be set in Irwin County come April 1. He said he wanted to see evidence that a change of venue was needed.
Ashleigh and John Merchant, Duke’s attorney, both asked for change of venue and said they want to do a study with Irwin County residents, asking them questions about the case.
The Merchants had a motion before the judge, asking for funds for an investigator for this case, Reinhardt also denied that request.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys will be back Tuesday morning to discuss outstanding and new motions along with other administrative items.
This is a developing story and we will update as more information becomes available.