Ramsey Detective 'Made Mistakes,' Chief Testifies

Testimony Comes In Federal Lawsuit Against Boulder Police

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner has testified that detective Linda Arndt (pictured, left) had made mistakes in the JonBenet Ramsey investigation and that defending her reputation would have been a "lie."

Beckner's testimony Monday came in Arndt's federal lawsuit against the city of Boulder and department officials. She accuses Beckner and former police chief Tom Koby of violating her First Amendment rights by preventing her from countering news media claims that she bungled the Ramsey investigation.

Beckner said that the reports were substantially accurate, and defending her would have been misleading.

"I would not allow an officer to knowingly mislead the public," Beckner said on the witness stand.

He pointed to an article that appeared in Vanity Fair published in October, 1997, that said Arndt lifted JonBenet's body and put it under a Christmas tree, that JonBenet's mother Patsy collapsed on the body, and that Arndt was in close contact with Patsy Ramsey and her friends in the weeks after the homicide.

Beckner said that the information in the article was accurate.

Arndt's lawsuit accuses department officials of trying to blame her for mistakes made in the handling of the investigation of the 6-year-old's death. No arrests have been made and John and Patsy Ramsey have not been ruled out as suspects.

Arndt was the only police officer in the Ramsey home when John Ramsey found his daughter beaten and strangled in the basement, brought her body upstairs and covered her with a blanket.

In the last of her four days of testimony Monday, Arndt said That seeing John Ramsey carry his daughter's body up from the basement stunned her.

"That JonBenet would be in her home, searched by three cops, would be inconceivable," she said. "In an instant, the worst fears and an inconceivable result was what each of us faced."

Defending her actions on Dec. 26, 1996, the day JonBenet's body was found, Arndt said that she called the detective's office two or three times for reinforcements. She said that she had difficulty controlling several adults in the house that day.

Beckner testified that Arndt could have used her police radio to call for backup if she needed help.

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