BOULDER, Colo. - Despite being exonerated by new DNA testing techniques in 2008, a 1999 indictment being released today in the JonBenet Ramsey case is expected to show that the Grand Jury investigating the case wanted to charge her parents with child abuse resulting in death.
A judge in Boulder ordered the Grand Jury indictment be released today.
The judge's order said, "the documents consist of 18 pages, 9 each relating to John and Patricia Ramsey."
There are other documents related to the case, but the only documents being released Friday are those signed by the Grand Jury foreman, the court order said.
While the Grand Jury reportedly voted to indict the parents in 1999, the indictment was not accepted by then-District Attorney Alex Hunter because he said he didn't think he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parents were guilty.
At the time, Hunter said the grand jury had concluded without finding "sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone. News of the grand jury indictment wasn't revealed until Boulder Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan filed a story on its existence earlier this year.
When asked if Hunter was obligated to release the information about the indictment without anyone asking him to do so, First Amendment attorney Steven Zansberg said, "I think the Grand Jury indictment ought to have been presented in open court. It should have become a record of the court and at that point the public would have been made aware of it and then would have asked for it. I don’t think independently of that, that Mr. Hunter had a duty to provide it to the public without a request being made."
Hunter’s successor, Mary Lacy, exonerated the Ramsey family (John, Patsy and their son, Burke) in 2008 using DNA evidence from JonBenet's clothing. DNA evidence pointed to a mystery person in connection with the crime.
John Ramsey said if the unprosecuted indictment was to be publicly released, he wanted the court to order the release of the entire grand jury record. Lacy agreed.
However, the judge decided only to release items signed by the Grand Jury foreman.
Patsy Ramsey died in 2006, 10 years after her daughter was murdered. She is buried next to her daughter in Georgia, where the Ramseys moved from Boulder.
John Ramsey remarried in 2011 -- five years after Patsy's death.
7NEWS & TheDenverChannel.com will have continuing coverage on the indictment release throughout the day on Friday. Be sure to download our 7NEWS app for your iPhone or Android to get an alert when the indictment is released.