For the first time since his arrest in 2017 for the murder of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead, suspect Ryan Alexander Duke is asking for $10,000 bond to get out of jail, and he apparently claims it’s because his alleged accomplice, Bo Dukes, is on the run from police.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Duke’s lawyer, Asleigh Merchant, said the only reason her client confessed to killing Grinstead, a high school teacher from Oncilla, is because he was afraid of his co-defendant, Dukes, retaliating against him. Being behind bars kept him away from Dukes.
Dukes was charged with helping conceal Grinstead’s death, but had subsequently asked for bond and was released, awaiting trial. Authorities arrested Dukes days after his alleged accomplice’s confession, a confession Duke now says was false and made only to protect himself.
“Mr. Duke made statements to law enforcement that implicated himself in this crime out of fear for himself and his family,” the motion read. “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 safer to remain in custody and remain silent.”
Ryan Duke Bond Motion by on Scribd
Now, however, Dukes is is wanted on felony charges of rape and sodomy, something that will likely put him behind bars without bail when caught, according to the motion.
Dukes is currently on the run after the New Year’s Day incident at his Warner Robins home, in which two different women reportedly escaped from his home after he held them there against their will.
“At this time, officers believe he brought two women to his home under threat of physical violence and with a firearm in hand committed the offenses,” Warner Robins police said in a statement last week. “Dukes has made suicidal threat……He’s known to drink heavily and has a history of cocaine use.”
The motion also indicated that Duke is also seeking bond because a request for the court to pay for a private investigator and expert witness was denied in November. The motion stated Duke needed to work and make money to pay for “costs that are necessary to insure that he has a fair trial.”
Grinstead was last seen in 2005, in Oncilla, leaving a party. The former beauty queen’s disappearance remained cold for over a decade until a 2017 tip led authorities to Duke.
A trial for the murder case has been set for April 1.
[Feature Photo: Tara Grinstead/Handout]