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Attorneys Ashleigh and John Merchant File an Appeal to Halt Ryan Duke Case

The trial for Ryan Duke, who was accused of killing Tara Grinstead, was set to begin on April 1, 2019. However, Duke’s lawyers, Attorneys Ashleigh and John Merchant from The Merchant Law Firm, filed an emergency appeal to put a hold on the trial.

Duke’s lawyers argued that the DNA evidence being presented against him needs to be analyzed by a specialist, and that the state needs to pay for an expert witness to ensure Duke receives a fair trial.

Indigent Defense Law

Under the Sixth Amendment, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,…and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

An individual’s sixth amendment rights can include public defender programs, assigned counsel programs, and contract attorneys. Government funding for an expert witness would fall under this indigent defense law.

Judge’s Decision Being Appealed

Irwin County Judge Bill Reinhardt denied the request, stating Duke does not have rights to public funding because he chose to be represented by free private counsel. Duke’s attorneys filed an appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court arguing that the judge’s decision is unconstitutional.

Retain Superior Representation from Our Lawyers at The Merchant Law Firm

With over 18 years of experience, our attorneys at The Merchant Law Firm have gained an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and the laws governing a person’s rights. We use our knowledge and skill to ensure those rights are protected. If you are facing criminal charges, trust your case to our seasoned team. We will provide the assertive advocacy you need for your case.

Get the legal counsel you need by calling us at (404) 828-0969 or contacting us online.