JonBenet Ramsey case: Released indictment could explain why parents weren't charged

Posted By Kate Stanton  |  Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM
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(UPI) -- A Boulder judge has ordered the release of the grand jury indictment that reportedly charged JonBenet Ramsey's parents, John and Patsy, with her 1996 killing.

Though the grand jury voted to indict the Ramseys in 1999, then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter rejected it on grounds that he didn't have "sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges."

Judge J. Robert Lowenbach ordered the release of 18 pages of the indictment, nine of which relate to John and Patsy, in response to a lawsuit by a Daily Camera reporter and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

"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," their attorney wrote in a complaint last September. "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."

John Ramsey has objected to the release of the indictment. Pasty died of cancer in 2006.

"Public release of the allegations of an unprosecuted indictment only serves to further defame [John] and his late wife Patricia Ramsey," his attorney said in a statement to the district attorney.

"The court is sympathetic to the position of Mr. Ramsey," Judge Lowenbach wrote. "But has nonetheless concluded that as an 'official action' of the grand jury, the 'indictment' .... must be released."

JonBenet, a six-year-old beauty pageant queen, was found beaten and strangled to death in the basement of her parents home on December 26, 2006. Patsy told police she had found a ransom note in the home, though there was no sign of forced entry. DNA evidence seemed to suggest that a stranger was responsible.

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