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Ryan Duke pleads not guilty in beauty queen Tara Grinstead's murder

One of the men charged in the murder of Tara Grinstead pleaded not guilty.

IRWIN COUNTY, Ga. -- One of the men charged in the murder of Tara Grinstead pleaded not guilty.

Thursday morning Ryan Duke waived his arraignment and pleaded not guilty on all six charges. In April, Duke was indicted on one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of burglary and one count of concealing death.

Duke's lawyer also filed a motion for discovery and raised doubts about the state's evidence and Duke's indictment. The next time Duke could be in court is for a motions hearing for which a date has not been set.

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He and a former classmate Bo Dukes face charges in the 33-year-old's death. She was their former teacher and went missing in October 2005.

Following Duke's arrest, his high school classmate, Bo Dukes, 32, was arrested and charged with concealing death, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence. He faces those charges in Ben Hill County, Ga.

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Maria Harber was in was in court Thurdays and said she was Grinstead's best friend. She said they have been wanting answers for a long time.

"Over the past 11 and a half years we’ve been praying for something, praying for some answers. And so when the first arrest was made we had hope that we would get some answers and get some resolve," she said.

Harber hoped Duke would show up in court and plead guilty. "Obviously we get here and it’s not guilty. I understand that’s lawyer things and the way the justice system works but...it’s very disappointing," she said.

Ever since Grinstead went missing, Harbor said it felt like they've been on trial. "Her life has been on trial. The people closest to her who have been accused… they’ve been on trial. Not in the courtroom but in their every day life."

Court documents allege that Duke broke into Grinstead's Ocilla, Ga., home in and used his hands to kill her, then disposed of her body. In February, an Irwin County magistrate judge told Duke, during his first court appearance in February, that he was accused of using "his hands in an offensive manner with the intent to cause bodily harm."

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