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Governor won't appoint special prosecutor in Ramsey case

August 12, 1998
Web posted at: 11:20 p.m. EDT (0320 GMT)

DENVER (CNN) -- Colorado Gov. Roy Romer said Wednesday he will not name a special prosecutor to investigate the murder of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

"To bring in a [totally] new leader would simply disrupt the way in which you're trying to bring the forces to bear to get this job done," said Romer, who also said the case is "on track" to be presented to a grand jury.

Pressure on Romer to appoint a special prosecutor intensified last week after the resignation of a lead investigator, Boulder Police Detective Steve Thomas, who complained that Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter had compromised the 20-month probe.

Romer met Wednesday with an outside panel of prosecutors he asked to monitor the case and also talked with Hunter. The governor said he came to the conclusion that naming a special prosecutor would delay the investigation and that the probe into JonBenet's death "is going in the right direction and [at] the right pace."

However, the governor said that, with Hunter's consent, he would be willing to invoke a law allowing the state to provide Hunter with "special assistance."

JonBenet, 6, was found strangled in the basement of the family's Boulder mansion on December 26, 1996, shortly after her mother reported finding a ransom note.

No arrests have been made in the case, but police have said that the child's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, remain under suspicion. They vehemently deny any involvement in their daughter's slaying, and have moved to Atlanta.

Thomas charged that Hunter had a cozy relationship with the Ramseys' attorneys, and failed to support police investigators.

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