Closing arguments end in Ryan Duke trial, jury deliberations to resume Friday morning
Duke is standing trial for the 2005 death and disappearance of Tara Grinstead
OCILLA, Ga. (WALB) - Closing arguments ended in the Ryan Duke trial on Thursday, bringing to a close eight days of testimony.
Ryan Duke is standing trial in connection to the 2005 death and disappearance of Tara Grinstead.
The jury began deliberating shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, the jury has not reached a verdict. Jury deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. on Friday.
“Bo Dukes should be sitting in that chair, not Ryan,” John Merchant, one of Ryan Duke’s attorneys, said in the opening of the defense’s closing argument.
Bo Dukes was also charged in connection to Grinstead’s death and disappearance. He was convicted and sentenced to Wilcox County charges related to Grinstead’s death.
Merchant pressed the jury to use their common sense “as we go through this evidence.”
“There’s nothing that links Ryan to this murder. Nothing,” Merchant said.
Merchant also argued that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation missed a lot of key evidence back in 2005. He asked the jury to “not make the same mistake.”
The state based its closing argument on the 2017 recorded interview and confession from Ryan Duke.
“He convicts himself by his own words,” said District Attorney Brad Rigby. “The man in that chair, Ryan Duke, confessed to you with his words. He confessed to you in his handwriting. He confessed to you with his actions. His actions as he walked through an orchard in Fitzgerald.”
Added Rigby: “He confesses to you with his palm prints that he is the murderer. The killer of Tara Grinstead.”
Rigby said the jury should act as truth seekers.
“That’s what the state asks you to do is seek truth. They want you to list questions and look for doubt. I want you to seek the truth. Be truth seekers. And the truth is exactly what came out of his mouth. Is he hit Tara Grinstead in his home and he left,” Rigby said.
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Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.