Ryan Duke sentenced in Tara Grinstead case
OCILLA, Ga. (WALB) - Ryan Duke was sentenced Monday in Irwin County Superior Court.
Duke was charged with the 2005 death and disappearance of Tara Grinstead.
Duke was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the charge of concealing the death of another. He was found not guilty on other charges, including murder charges, by a jury on Friday.
Since Ryan Duke has already spent five years in prison since 2017, he only has five years left to serve. And depending on a parole board’s decision, he could be let out on parole right away.
On Monday, Grinstead’s family and a longtime friend gave statements regarding the sentencing. They all asked for the maximum sentence, which is 10 years.
“Tara’s voice was silenced forever when she was murdered, so we are here today to be her voice and we humbly and respectfully (ask for the maximum sentence.) Even that would be less time than what we spent looking for her,” Connie Grinstead, Tara’s step-mom, said.
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The defense asked the judge to dismiss the only count Duke was convicted of, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence.
The judge made his decision, saying the jury made their ruling. Acknowledging the impact this crime had on Tara’s family.
“Every day they couldn’t find Tara and it is true that despite whatever your selfish feelings were for not coming forward, you had the power to stop that pain for years,” said Judge Bill Reinhardt with the Tifton Judicial Circuit.
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