The sentencing comes after Duke was acquitted of the other four charges he was facing including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and burglary in Tara Grinstead’s murder.
He was facing potential life in prison for the Georgia teacher’s 2005 disappearance.
Investigators believe that on the evening of October 22, 2005, Ryan Duke burglarized Tara Grinstead’s home and strangled her when she caught him in the act. He later moved her body from the house to a remote part of a pecan orchard owned by his friend Bo Dukes’ family where they disposed of the body together.
During his trial, Ryan Duke took the stand and proclaimed his innocence, saying what he told investigators regarding Tara’s death referred to the actions of his friend Bo Dukes.
In 2017, a woman came forward to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with information related to Tara Grinstead’s disappearance and her whereabouts. Her boyfriend, Bo Dukes, told her that his friend, Ryan Alexander Duke, murdered Tara Grinstead and he helped him dispose of the body.
Both men attended Irwin County High School where Grinstead was employed as a teacher. Bo came from a prominent family that owned a large pecan orchard in the Ocilla area.
Bo confessed that in October 2005, his friend Ryan Dukes killed Grinstead and dumped her body at his family owned pecan farm off Bowens Mill Highway in Ben Hill County, Georgia.
In 2019, Bo Dukes went on trial for attempting to conceal the death of another, hindering apprehension of a criminal, tampering with evidence, and two counts of making false statements. He was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to 25 years in prison.