Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A 1999 grand jury reportedly voted to charge JonBenet Ramsey’s parents with child abuse resulting in her death, but a prosecutor declined to sign the indictment.Boulder, Colo. District Attorney Alex Hunter announced in 1999 that his office wasn’t charging John and Patsy Ramsey.
But grand jury members are now revealing they voted to charge the pair with child abuse resulting in death, Boulder’s Daily Camera reported Sunday.
Six-year-old JonBenet was found strangled and beaten to death in her family’s home on Dec. 26, 1996.
A ransom note initially claimed the girl had been kidnapped and demanded $118,000, but no one ever stepped forward to claim the money.
While DNA evidence ultimately ruled out the Ramseys as possible suspects in 2008, grand jurors in the late 1990s believed the girl’s parents knew more than they let on.
“We didn’t know who did what but we felt the adults in the house may have done something that they certainly could have prevented, or they could have helped her, and they didn’t,” an unnamed former juror told the Camera.
Hunter apparently didn’t believe there was enough evidence to succeed at trial, despite the grand jury’s opinion. Denver criminal defence attorney Dan Recht told the Camera that there’s a lower standard of proof to indict defendants than there is to prove they’re guilty at trial.
“So what Alex Hunter was thinking about was, ‘But can I prove this beyond a reasonable doubt?’ Because that’s the burden that the prosecution has at a trial. So he seemingly decided, ‘I am not going to be able to prove this child abuse resulting in death beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury,'” Recht said.
JonBenet’s murder still hasn’t been solved.
John Mark Karr was arrested in connection with the case in 2006 but wasn’t charged after DNA tests refuted his claims that he was with the young girl when she died, The New York Times reported.
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