JonBenét Ramsey Lawsuit: Reporter Sues Boulder DA Over Secret Indictment

A reporter for the Daily Camera and a press advocacy group have filed a lawsuit against Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett over the release of the indictment from the JonBenet Ramsey case in 1999.

Camera reporter Charlei Brennan says that a grand jury secretly voted to indict the 6-year-old parents for child abuse. But Alex Hunter, the District Attorney at the time, refused to sign the document. Brennan is now pressuring Garnett to release the document.

Attorney Thomas B. Kelley writes in the lawsuit: “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… 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.”

The Daily Camera reports that the lawsuit was filed by reporter Charlie Brennan and the press advocacy group Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press.

Brennan has put in requests to see the JonBenet Ramsey indictment in the past but Garnett has refused to release the document.

Garnett said this week that he would respond to the lawsuit in court.

Garnett said: “We will respond to the motion in a pleading in court… Protecting the integrity of the grand jury process is important to every district attorney.”

JonBenet Ramsey was reported missing by Patsy Ramsey on December 26, 1996. Police found a ransom note and then, a few hours later, discovered the 6-year-old’s dead body in her parent’s basement. The case went before a grand jury in 1999 but no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence.

But Camera reporter Brenan believes that there was enough evidence to convict Patsy and John Ramsey. The Daily Camera reporter that the grand jury voted to indict the Ramsey’s on charges of child abuse that led to the death of the little girl. Hunter refused to sign the indictment because he reportedly believed that he would not be able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Brenan has now filed a lawsuit in order to get DA Garnett to release the document.