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Back to 2001 Headlines

12/13/2001

Patsy Ramsey gives de

The Associated Press

BOULDER — A lawyer who had up to seven hours to question the mother of JonBenet Ramsey under oath accomplished little while taking a deposition, Patsy Ramsey ’s attorney said.

Darnay Hoffman, who is representing former Boulder reporter Chris Wolf in a civil libel lawsuit, questioned Ramsey for about three hours Tuesday in the offices of her Atlanta lawyer, L. Lin Wood.

The 6-year-old beauty queen’s father, John Ramsey, was to give a sworn statement Wednesday.

JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. No one has been charged in the crime.

Wolf is suing the Ramseys for naming him as a murder suspect in their book, “Death of Innocence.”

Wood said Hoffman spent most of his time questioning Ramsey about handwriting samples and comparing them with a handwriting report from 1997.

Hoffman did not return a phone message left at his New York office Wednesday.

Hoffman could have asked any relevant question, which is interpreted broadly in such cases. Instead, he let Ramsey get up and leave early.

“I said, ‘You’ve got four to five hours left under the federal rules,’” Wood said. “‘We’re ready, willing and able. Ask any question you want, about any fact.’ But he said, ‘I think I’ve asked all my questions.’”

Former housekeeper Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, who also was named as a suspect in the book, filed a separate $50 million libel suit against the couple. Her lawsuit named Patsy Ramsey as JonBenet’s killer.

Hoffman last week spoke of the deposition as the first time Ramsey would be placed under oath and said he would ask the tough questions.

“All the other (interviews) were voluntary, and they set the ground rules, they can get up and leave at any time,” Hoffman said. “Whoever was questioning them had to be very careful.”

Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said he was not aware of any other statements Ramsey has made under oath.

Such statements could become part of the investigation into JonBenet’s death.