Accused lawyer ordered back to court in JonBenet case
Attorney faces bribery charge
September 8, 1999
GOLDEN, Colorado (CNN) -- A retired Colorado attorney accused of bribery in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case faces a new court appearance in two months.
Thomas Miller, who allegedly tried to arrange for a client to buy a copy of the ransom note for the child beauty queen killed nearly three years ago, was ordered to return to court on November 1.
Last month, a grand jury in Jefferson County indicted Miller on one count of commercial bribery for his alleged role in the scheme to obtain the note that demanded $118,000 for the safe return of the 6-year-old girl.
Miller, 48, allegedly helped his client try to buy a copy of the note about three months after the child's beaten and strangled body was found in the basement of her home on December 26, 1996, in Boulder, Colorado.
At that time the contents of the ransom note had not been released and there was keen interest in it.
According to the indictment, Miller set up a meeting between his client and a handwriting expert hired by attorneys for the girl's parents, John and Patricia Ramsey.
The client allegedly offered the expert $30,000 for the note. The document expert, a former Denver police officer, refused the offer of money.
Miller's appearance in court on Tuesday lasted only a few minutes. He later told reporters that freedom of speech and freedom of the press were issues in the case.
He has declined to identify his client, although he has previously been quoted as saying his client was a tabloid newspaper.
The charge against Miller stems from a Jefferson County grand jury investigation into so-called information brokering -- buying and selling confidential information for illegal or improper uses.
If convicted, Miller could face a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $100,000, the district attorney's office has said.
A separate grand jury in Boulder County has been hearing evidence related to the child's slaying since September of last year, but no indictments have been issued or arrests made in the case.
New funding approved for JonBenet Ramsey grand jury
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