The Tara Grinstead case has been in and out of the news in Georgia since 2005. This past week, Bo Dukes was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for helping conceal her body.
According to the trial, Dukes helped Ryan Alexander Duke burn Tara Grinstead's body for two days at his family's farm. Dukes was sentenced the day after his conviction. He was convicted of two counts of making a false statement, one count of hindering the apprehension of a criminal, and one count of concealing the death of another.
Dukes took full responsibility in court on Friday by stating, “My actions and failures are the responsibility of mine alone. I failed Tara Grinstead, and I failed my community. I want everyone to know I am truly remorseful for my actions.”
In today's post, as a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of concealing the death of another in the state of Georgia.
Concealing the Death of Another in Georgia
Most people think that concealing death of another to mean the physical act of hiding a body. Yes, that is in fact one way to be guilty of the crime, the legal offense also extends to hindering a discovery of whether or not a person was unlawfully killed. This includes failing to tell officers information about where a body is found or not telling people that the person is dead.
According to O.C.G.A. §16-10-31, concealing the death of another in Georgia is defined as:
A person will be guilty of concealing the death of another in Georgia when by concealing the death of any other person, they hinder the discovery of whether or not such person was unlawfully killed.
Just as with any other crime in Georgia, in order to be convicted of concealing the death of another, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of concealing the death of another, an individual will be guilty of a felony. The penalties can include a prison term between one and ten years, a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, or both.
Individuals who have been charged with concealing the death of another often try to argue that they didn't do anything to conceal the body, and therefore, they are not guilty of a crime. However, not communicating with authorities and informing them of death is still enough to be convicted of concealing a body.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.