Ryan Alexander Duke, the man charged with killing his former high school teacher Tara Grinstead, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a bond hearing to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET. His legal team is trying to get him out of jail in the lead-up to his trial. He is currently being held without bond, and he’s using the recent arrest of co-defendant Bo Dukes in his attempt to go free.
In a filing dated January 4, attorneys Ashleigh B. and John B. Merchant requested a bond of $10,000.
“Mr. Duke has not requested bond prior to this date because he was fearful that if released, harm would come to him at the hands of his out of county co-defendant, Bo Dukes,” said the filing obtained by Law&Crime. “Mr. Duke made statements to law enforcement that implicated himself in this crime out of fear for himself and his family. Since Mr. Dukes was immediately granted bond despite his extensive criminal history and his record of failing to comply with law enforcement, Mr. Duke felt it was safe to remain in custody and remain silent.”
Dukes (no relation) was charged with helping cover up the murder, and he’s now locked up on unrelated charges. Federal authorities said he failed to pay restitution and perform community service in his 2013 conviction for stealing property from the U.S. Army. Accordingly, he was given 45 days to turn himself in for a six-month sentence. That ended in a manhunt because police in Warner Robins, Georgia then sought him in a rape and imprisonment case involving two female victims last month. Now he’s in custody, and Ryan Duke’s lawyers are using this development in the bond hearing.
The Merchants said their client didn’t have a lot of money. Hence, the request for a $10,000 bond. They said he was arrested after being asked by cops to drop by the police station for questioning. Duke did not flee, and that helped show he “poses no significant risk” of escaping, being a danger to others in the community, committing a felony, and interfering in the investigation, the Merchants argued. [Screengrab via 13WMAZ]