13 Years Later, Big Reveal in JonBenet Ramsey Case

Grand jury had actually voted to indict her parents

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2013 9:16 AM CST | Updated Jan 28, 2013 11:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Another major decade-old case is getting fresh press thanks to a Boulder Daily Camera exclusive. As the paper reports, the district attorney's Oct. 13, 1999, announcement that the grand jury investigation into the death of JonBenet Ramsey had concluded without "sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone" omitted one big fact. The grand jury had actually voted to indict someone: John and Patsy Ramsey. The charge would have been "child abuse resulting in death," and it would have had them face a sentence of as many as 48 years, but then-DA Alex Hunter wouldn't sign the indictment.

A juror tells the Daily Camera, "We felt the adults in the house may have done something that they certainly could have prevented, or they could have helped her, and they didn't." But Hunter reportedly didn't believe he could prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt. A former assistant DA confirms the vote, and calls Hunter's decision the right and "courageous" one to make in the face of public pressure to resolve the case. Some legal experts say Hunter may have actually been required to sign the indictment under state law, and then dismiss it in open court. A new DA exonerated the Ramsey family using DNA evidence in 2008.

This file image made from an undated family video shows JonBenet Ramsey performing during a beauty pageant.   (AP Photo/Ramsey family video)
In this Aug. 29, 2000 file photo, Patsy Ramsey speaks as her husband John Ramsey listens during a short news conference in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Gregory Smith, File)
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