Georgia man Bo Dukes is scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning for interfering in the investigation of the 2005 disappearance and apparent murder of beauty queen and teacher Tara Grinstead. Court is set to begin at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Jurors found him guilty on Thursday of two counts of giving false statements, one count of hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal, and one count of concealing a death. Prosecutors argued that he played a role in hiding the victim’s body after she was allegedly killed by Ryan Alexander Duke (no relation to the defendant). Both men had been Grinstead’s students in high school.
The defendant’s lawyer John Fox said in closing arguments on Thursday that the evidence didn’t match the wording of the indictment. In other words, Dukes literally wasn’t guilty as charged. The defense tried to show that the defendant was drunk and high at the time he allegedly lied to investigators, and that he couldn’t remember what he said, so he technically didn’t lie under the law. This argument didn’t carry the day.
This is simply another instance of Dukes’ ongoing problems with the law. A judge determined last year that he violated his 2013 conviction for stealing from the U.S. Army. The court gave him time to turn himself in, but instead of doing that, he allegedly held two women at gunpoint in January, leading to a manhunt lasting about five days. Cops sought him on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Ryan Alexander Duke will be tried separately in Grinstead’s death. Prosecutors say he’s the one who actually ended her life.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]