Judge rules to release secret indictment in JonBenet Ramsey killing

JonBenet Ramsey (KDVR file photo)

JonBenet Ramsey (KDVR file photo)

BOULDER, Colo. — A judge ruled in favor Thursday of releasing a secret indictment of the parents in the JonBenet Ramsey case.

The decision in favor of the plaintiffs means there will be a second hearing where the Boulder District Attorney’s Office must show a compelling reason that the documents should not be released to the public.

“This is a complicated legal issue,” District Attorney Stan Garnett said in a statement. “My office is reviewing the court’s ruling very carefully and will make a determination how to respond by middle of next week.”

Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are seeking the release of the grand jury’s 1999 indictment of John Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.

That indictment was never actually prosecuted. It emerged earlier this year that the grand jury voted to indict the slain child’s parents, but that then-District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the document and prosecute the Ramseys.

The DA’s office has argued that the document should be kept secret to protect members of the jury. The plaintiffs argue that, as an official grand jury action, the indictment is a public record.

Garnett has already rejected two requests by the Camera and Brennan seeking the release of the indictment under the Colorado Open Records Act.

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