Ga. high court to hear Duke appeal in Grinstead case

Ga. high court to hear Duke appeal in Grinstead case
Ga. Supreme Court (Source: Ga. Supreme Court)

ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Supreme Court of Georgia issued a ruling Friday, saying that the court will hear an appeal from Ryan Duke’s lawyers in the murder case of Ocilla teacher Tara Grinstead.

In the order, the court said that “upon consideration of the application for interlocutory appeal filed in the above-styled case, the application is hereby granted. All the Justices concur.” Interlocutory is a legal term that means something is decided while the case is ongoing.

Ryan Duke in court in 2018. (Source: WALB)
Ryan Duke in court in 2018. (Source: WALB)

At issue is whether the state should have to provide money for Duke’s lawyers to hire investigators to probe the case on behalf of Duke since he is being represented by attorneys who are providing their services at no charge to Duke or to the state.

In the order, the Georgia Supreme Court said it is concerned if the “trial court (erred) in holding that an indigent defendant in a criminal case who is represented by private, pro bono counsel does not have a constitutional right or a statutory right under the Indigent Defense Act... to state-funded experts and investigators.”

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2006, file photo, teacher Tara Grinstead is displayed on a billboard in Ocilla, Ga. New court documents suggest that within weeks of a south Georgia teacher’s disappearance, two of her ex-students told friends at a party they had killed her and burned her body. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Ryan Alexander Duke and Bo Dukes made the admission a month after Tara Grinstead was reported missing in October 2005. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2006, file photo, teacher Tara Grinstead is displayed on a billboard in Ocilla, Ga. New court documents suggest that within weeks of a south Georgia teacher’s disappearance, two of her ex-students told friends at a party they had killed her and burned her body. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Ryan Alexander Duke and Bo Dukes made the admission a month after Tara Grinstead was reported missing in October 2005. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File) (Source: Elliott Minor)

Ryan Duke is represented by John and Ashleigh Merchant of Marietta.

WALB has reached out for more clarification on the order.

Read the full order below:

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