Bo Dukes sentenced in Tara Grinstead case

Courtesy: WALB
Courtesy: WALB(WCTV)
Published: Mar. 22, 2019 at 10:56 AM EDT
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March 22, 2019

ABBEVILE, GA (WALB) -- Court reconvened in the Wilcox County courthouse Friday morning, where the judge listened to arguments and statements concerning the sentence Bo Dukes will serve for his convictions related to the 2005 murder of Tara Grinstead in Ocilla.

of making a false statement, two counts, hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal, and concealing a death.

Duke was in the court in orange jail clothes, and Tara Grinstead’s mom spoke on behalf of the Grinstead family, asking for the maximum sentence, which could be 25 years.

Watch the hearing below:

Here is WALB's coverage of the Bo Dukes sentencing hearing from Abbeville, after his conviction on Thursday.

Posted by WALB News 10 on Friday, March 22, 2019

Grinstead's mother told the judge how Bo Dukes' silence in Tara's death affected her and her family. Dixie Hudson, Bo Dukes' mother, said it's obvious her son has issues and has asked the court to give him rehabilitation. Her statement to the judge was short and to the point.

The defense reminded the judge of Dukes’ military service and that he is a decorated soldier. The defense said that although it is multiple crimes, it is for the same act. The defense added that a sentence of 12 years would be fair for Dukes’ actions.

The defense said that if Bo Dukes hadn’t come forward in 2017, it’s possible that they never would have known what happened to Tara Grinstead.

Bo Dukes also spoke to the court through tears, taking responsibility, and apologized for what he did. Dukes was emotional in reading his statement and apology to law enforcement, his mother and his girlfriend. He said that he has failed his family and his community.

ADA Brad Rigby told the court that Bo Dukes buried this secret for years and Tara Grinstead’s family waited, and waited and waited, wondering what happened to her. He asked for a 25-year sentence.

Judge Robert W. Chasteen said nothing he does is going to relieve the pain that has been inflicted by what happened to Tara Grinstead. He said he can’t wrap his head around what was done.

After an emotional morning in court, the judge sentenced Dukes to the maximum for each count, totaling 25 years, in consecutive sentences, to serve in the Georgia prison system, and told Dukes that he can appeal. He then dismissed the court, which was mostly silent.