Hearing set for accused Grinstead killer; next steps up to trial court

Hearing set for accused grinstead killer; next steps up to trial court

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -New details have emerged from Irwin County just days before Tara Grinstead’s accused killer will be back in the courtroom.

We’re learning what could be discussed at Friday’s hearing nearly three months after the Georgia Supreme Court denied Ryan Duke’s request for state funding.

In June, the highest court in the state said it did not have the authority to overturn a pretrial decision made in the Irwin County Court. Their decision hinged on a Certificate of Immediate Review.

The man accused of killing Tara Grinstead, a teacher and former beauty queen, made an appearance in court Monday.
The man accused of killing Tara Grinstead, a teacher and former beauty queen, made an appearance in court Monday.

The justices said the defense should have requested one before taking their appeal to the court.

Their decision bounced the case back to Irwin County.

Ryan Duke is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and concealing the death of another in the 2005 death and disappearance of Grinstead.

Duke’s attorneys said Judge Bill Reinhardt will have to reconsider if state funds should be given to the defense team to hire an expert witnesses and an investigator.

Duke’s defense attorneys filed a Supplemental Brief of additional authority on September 5th.

They are fighting for state funding to continue to investigate this case before it goes to trial.

Defense attorneys said two things can happen at this motion hearing. One, the Judge could deny the certificate of immediate review again.

This means he could schedule a date for the trial to start on the spot, without granting the funds to attorneys.

Or he could sign and grant the certificate, which means the supreme court could hear Duke’s appeal again, and justices could make the decision on what’s next.

Defense attorneys stated Judge Reinhardt has already ruled they are entitled to the funding and it’s needed.

Duke’s attorneys said the question now is: where will this come from or if it can be granted?

If it granted, prosecutors said a decision will have to be made on whether funding should come from the state or county taxpayers.

This will only happen after the Supreme Court decides what’s next, if it gets back to them.

We will hear what Judge Reinhardt decides at that hearing this Friday at the Irwin County Courthouse, around 9 or 9:30 a.m.

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