Teacher killing trial makes detour to Georgia Supreme Court

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FILE – This Feb. 22, 2017, file photo provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows Ryan Duke. Georgia’s highest court heard arguments Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, on whether taxpayers should cover portions of the legal defense for Duke, a man facing trial in the 2005 slaying of Tara Grinstead, a high school teacher whose disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade. (Georgia Bureau of Investigation via AP, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s highest court is weighing a pretrial appeal from a man charged with the 2005 slaying of a high school teacher whose disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade.

The Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for Ryan Duke, who is charged with murder in the killing of teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead.

Duke’s lawyers want the high court to order that the state pay for expert defense witnesses.

The trial judge has twice refused, saying Duke forfeited any right to indigent services when declined representation by public defenders.

Instead, Duke has private attorneys representing him for free.

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