Criminal Justice

Never-prosecuted indictment accused JonBenet Ramsey's parents of helping murder suspect

A once-secret grand jury indictment released today accused the parents of JonBenet Ramsey of placing their child in a dangerous situation and helping a person suspected in the murder.

The Denver Post and the Boulder Daily Camera have stories on the 1999 indictment, released as a result of a ruling by Weld County, Colo., Judge Robert Lowenbach. The judge released only the pages signed by the grand jury foreman, keeping secret the grand jury transcripts and other evidence.

The District Attorney at the time, Alex Hunter, never signed the 1999 indictment and refused to prosecute the Ramseys in the 1996 death of their 6-year-old daughter. The parents were cleared by a new DA in 2008 after DNA evidence pointed to another, unidentified suspect.

The indictment says John and Patsy Ramsey permitted a child to be “unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health, which resulted in the death of JonBenet Ramsey.” It also says they helped a person “knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death.”

John Ramsey had objected to the release of the indictment without the entire grand jury record. His lawyer, Hal Haddon, objected in a letter to Boulder County’s current DA, according to the Denver Post.

Haddon wrote that the indictment’s release “only serves to further defame [John Ramsey] and his late wife Patricia Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey will have no access to whatever evidence the prosecutors presented to the grand jury and will have no ability to disprove these allegations in a court of law. Nor will the public … have any ability to evaluate the propriety of the indictment unless the entire grand jury record is unsealed and opened to public view.”

Patsy Ramsey died in June 2006 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

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