The man accused of helping burn a South Georgia teacher’s body initially denied he was involved. But in a subsequent, videotaped interview with the GBI, Bo Dukes confessed that helped a former friend destroy Tara Grinstead’s body.
“I’m tired of living like this,” Dukes told the GBI agent.
The videotaped confession was shown to the jury Wednesday morning during the third day of Dukes’ trial in Wilcox County. Dukes has been charged with making a false statement, hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealing the death of another.
Dukes is the first of two defendants to stand trial in the death of Grinstead, a 30-year-old former beauty queen last seen alive in October 2005. In February 2017, Ryan Alexander Duke was charge with Grinstead’s murder, and Dukes was arrested days later. Investigators believe Duke killed Grinstead and asked Dukes for help destroying her body.
Grinstead’s disappearance shocked the small town of Ocilla, where she taught history at Irwin County High School. The community joined in the search to find her, and news of the missing woman made national headlines. Within weeks, Dukes and Duke — who are not related — allegedly told others they knew what had happened to Grinstead.
But the case went cold for many years before the GBI announced the arrests. Duke also confessed to the GBI that he killed Grinstead, but now claims it was Dukes who killed her.
Irwin District Attorney Paul Bowden — who is prosecuting Duke — also testified Wednesday. Dukes’ defense attorney said Bowden offered Dukes some type of deal if told investigators the truth about how Duke allegedly killed Grinstead. Bowden denied there was any deal in the works.
Also on the stand Wednesday was a Kennesaw State University anthropologist, who said various bone and teeth fragments were found at the site where the suspects claimed they burned Grinstead’s body.
“I could tell they’d been burned,” Alice Gooding told the jury.
Current and former scientists with the GBI crime lab testified late Wednesday about the DNA found on a latex glove outside of Grinstead's home. The glove contained the DNA of Grinstead and Duke, according to the GBI.
The prosecution appeared to be near the end of its witnesses, but at least one more is scheduled for Thursday morning, when the trial resumes.
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