Tags: ramsey | parents | child | abuse

Grand Jury Wanted JonBenet's Parents Charged With Child Abuse

Image: Grand Jury Wanted JonBenet's Parents Charged With Child Abuse

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 01:10 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A grand jury indicted the parents of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey on child abuse charges, it was revealed Friday.

But no action was taken on the sealed indictment because Alex Hunter, the then-district attorney for Boulder County, Colo., thought he did not have the evidence to convict John and Patsy Ramsey.

The bombshell indictment was bared nearly 17 years after the six-year-old's death after a long fight by Daily Camera journalist Charlie Brennan, who first revealed there had been an indictment earlier this year.

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Current district attorney Stan Garnet had successfully resisted releasing the documents twice previously, but retired Weld County Judge Robert Lowenbach ruled on Wednesday that the indictments should be unsealed under Colorado's Open Records Act.

John Ramsey, whose wife died of ovarian cancer in 2006, this week asked officials to release the entire grand jury record if the unprosecuted indictment was unsealed. But Lowenbach said that only pages signed by the grand jury foreman would be considered "official actions" which should be released.

Ramsey's attorney, Lin Wood, has said he's confident that no evidence in the grand jury case implicated the Ramsey family and the public should be able to see that for themselves.

The grand jury met three years after the beauty queen's body was found bludgeoned and strangled in their home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996.

The panel indicted both parents on charges of child abuse resulting in death and being an accessory to a crime including first degree murder. But Hunter refused to sign off on it as he did not believe he could successfully prosecute the couple.

"It appears that the District Attorney, presumably acting at the discretion of the grand jury, prepared a series of possible charges regarding John Ramsey and Patricia Ramsey based on the fact that the child had died and that there was evidence that a sexual assault of the child had occurred," Lowenbach wrote in his ruling.

The three-year statue of limitations on the indictment, which carried a maximum sentence of up to 48 years in prison, expired in 2002.

The case was one of the most notorious of the 1990s. JonBenet, a blonde pixie of a girl who had won numerous beauty contests, was found bludgeoned and strangled in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colo., the day after Christmas in 1996.

John and Patsy Ramsey remained prime suspects until they were absolved by the district attorney's office in 2008 — two years after Patsy's death — citing new DNA testing techniques.

Over the years there have been several false starts to solving the case.

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One school teacher was arrested in Thailand after falsely claiming to have murdered JonBenet.
The baffling case — which has spawned numerous books, documentaries, and a TV movie starring Kris Kristofferson and Marg Helgenberger — was never solved.

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said the case officially remains open but is not considered an active investigation.

Related Articles:

JonBenet Ramsey’s Father Remarries
Guilty Verdict in 55-Year-Old Child Murder

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