JonBenet Ramsey case: Reporters sue to release indictment

The grand jury in the murder case of JonBenét Ramsey voted in secret to indict her parents, and a reporter and press advocacy groups are suing to get the indictment released.
Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Sept. 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Colorado reporter and a press advocacy group are suing the Boulder County district attorney to force the release of the secret 1999 grand jury indictment of JonBenét Ramsey's parents, who were never prosecuted in the death of their daughter.

Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan, together with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, filed a lawsuit against Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett Wednesday.

The newspaper said two members of the grand jury confirmed they had voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death, but that then-D.A. Alex Hunter had refused to sign the document.

"The plaintiffs believe... that the indictment is a criminal justice record that reflects official action by the grand jury, and accordingly that it is subject to mandatory disclosure upon request," attorney Thomas B. Kelley wrote in the filing. "Alternatively, they argue the indictment should be disclosed to the public because such disclosure would serve the public interest in government transparency and not be contrary to the public interest nor cause undue adverse effect upon the privacy of the individual."

Garnett has previously rejected two requests for the indictment's release.

JonBenét, 6, was found dead in her parents' basement on Dec. 26, 1996, just a few hours after Patsy Ramsey had called 911 claiming her daughter was missing and they had found a ransom note.

The case went to a grand jury in 1998, but in October 1999, D.A. Hunger announced the investigation at an end and that no charges would be filed due to lack of evidence.

In 2008, the Boulder District Attorney's office announced DNA evidence pulled from an unknown male's blood left on JonBenét's underwear had exonerated both John and Patsy Ramsey, as well as their now-adult son, Burke.

The Boulder police officially took the case back from the district attorney's office in 2009, to reopen the investigation.

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