Skip to main content
 » Timeline  |  Case gallery  |  Ransom note  |  Special Report

JonBenet suspect to appear in court

Karr held in an isolation cell in L.A.'s Twin Towers jail

The Los Angeles County Sheriff released John Mark Karr's mug shot on Monday.



Bangkok (Thailand)
JonBenet Ramsey
John Mark Karr

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- John Mark Karr, who claims to have been involved in the 1996 death of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, could be headed back to Colorado as soon as Tuesday, pending results of an extradition hearing.

Karr, 41, will appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday morning to hear the charges against him and tell a judge whether he will contest extradition, the Boulder County District Attorney's office said Monday.

He will also be provided with a lawyer during the hearing, but it is not yet known who will represent him.

If he waives extradition, Karr could be returned quickly to Colorado because an outstanding arrest warrant for him in California on charges of possession of child pornography has been dropped by prosecutors in Sonoma County.

Karr is being held on a warrant for suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault, though he has not yet been charged with any crime.

And questions have surfaced as to whether the slight, soft-spoken schoolteacher could have been involved in the grisly killing of 6-year-old JonBenet, whose body was found December 26, 1996, in the basement of her family's Boulder home.

Lin Wood, the attorney for JonBenet's father, John, said Monday that his client's reaction to Karr's arrest was "one of hope," although he does not know if the case has been solved.

"He does not know whether Mr. Karr is guilty of that crime. He does not know the evidence upon which the district attorney is relying in making the arrest," Wood told CNN's "Larry King Live" in an exclusive interview.

Karr arrived in Los Angeles Sunday night after a 15-hour flight from Thailand, accompanied by a swarm of reporters who tracked his every move, including what he ate, where he sat and how many times he went to the bathroom. (Watch Karr's arrival in Los Angeles -- 1:46)

He was not handcuffed but was carefully watched by two agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an investigator for the Boulder District Attorney's office.

Before the jet landed, Karr changed his shirt, put on a tie and combed his hair. Thai authorities said he had requested a shirt and tie to wear so he would look like a teacher when he departed Thailand.

Once on the ground, Karr was arrested by deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and whisked by helicopter to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles, where he spent Monday night in isolation inside a 6-by-9-foot cell, wearing a standard blue jail uniform. (Watch Karr's accommodations and some free legal advice -- 1:46)

After he was arrested in Thailand, Karr ignited a media firestorm when told reporters that he was with JonBenet when she died and called her death an "accident."

"I loved JonBenet, and she died accidentally," he said. Asked by reporters if he was an innocent man, Karr replied, "No."

However, Karr's ex-wife, Lara Karr, has said he was with her in Alabama during the entire Christmas season in 1996, and she said her former husband was fascinated with the JonBenet case and researched it extensively.

It also remains unclear what connection, if any, Karr could have had with the Ramsey family a decade ago. John Ramsey has said he did not know Karr.

Still, a U.S. law enforcement source told CNN that Karr provided investigators with gruesome physical details about the condition of the girl's body that had not been publicly disclosed.

Meanwhile, new details emerged Monday about the enigmatic Karr.

CNN has confirmed that he was undergoing treatment at a clinic in Thailand for removal of facial hair. Dr. Setthakarn Attakonpan of the Siam Swan Comestic Clinic in Thailand said on Tuesday that Karr was undergoing hair removal because he wanted a sex-change operation.

Just two days before his arrest, Karr had taken a job as a teacher in an international school in Thailand. In 2004, a school in Honduras took him on as a volunteer teacher, but he lasted only three weeks.

"He was very difficult," said Caridad Pineda, the school's director. "He didn't like the school rules. He was a problem, and that's why we decided to fire him."

Karr then went on to work teaching second-grade at another school but left after eight months. It was unclear why he left Honduras.

CNN's Susan Candiotti, Drew Griffin, Dan Simon and Stan Wilson contributed to this report.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.

© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines