Hearing for lawsuit seeking release of Ramsey indictment set for Oct. 11
A hearing for a lawsuit filed by a Daily Camera reporter and a press advocacy group seeking the release of the indictment secretly voted on by the JonBenet Ramsey grand jury in 1999 has been set for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 11.
Camera reporter Charlie Brennan and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed the lawsuit in Boulder District Court, citing the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act in an effort to compel Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett to release the indictment.
The Camera reported earlier this year that the grand jury voted to indict the slain 6-year-old's parents on charges of child abuse resulting in death, but that then-District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the document and prosecute the Ramseys.
The Camera is not a plaintiff in the complaint, but does support the lawsuit.
Retired Weld County Judge Robert Lowenbach will preside over the hearing after Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman recused himself from the case.
The Boulder DA's Office has not yet filed a written response to the lawsuit, but Garnett said one would be filed within the next few days.
Garnett previously has rejected two requests by the Camera and Brennan seeking the release of the indictment under the Colorado Open Records Act.
In 2010, Brennan worked for Garnett as communications director on Garnett's campaign for Colorado attorney general.
Six-year-old JonBenet was found dead Dec. 26, 1996 in the basement of her family's home, 755 15th St., several hours after Patsy Ramsey called 911 to say her daughter was missing and there was a ransom note.
In October 1999, more than a year after the case went to a grand jury, then-D.A. Hunter announced that the grand jury investigation had come to an end and that no charges would be filed due to a lack of evidence.
But in January of this year, Brennan reported in the Camera that members of the grand jury confirmed they voted to indict both John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death and that Hunter refused to sign the indictment, believing he could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.