Ramsey case to go to grand juryAugust 13, 1998
Web posted at: 7:51 a.m. EDT (1151 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- More than a year and a half after child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was killed in her home, the case will be presented to a grand jury.
"I will be convening a grand jury to help develop further evidence in this case," Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter said in a statement late Wednesday.
He said secrecy requirements prevented him from commenting on where or when the jurors would start working.
"This is a solution that will not only serve the case but also the public who deserve to have full confidence in their criminal justice system," Hunter said.
Hunter's statement was released hours after Colorado Gov. Roy Romer said Wednesday he will not name a special prosecutor to investigate Ramsey's murder.
"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 Hunter had compromised the 20-month probe.
Romer met Wednesday with an outside panel of prosecutors that 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 the Atlanta area.
Thomas charged that Hunter had a cozy relationship with the Ramseys' attorneys, and failed to support police investigators.
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