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5/6/2003

High Court refuses to hear Ramsey free-speech case

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider whether a former police detective was wrongly barred from publicly disputing claims that she botched part of the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation.

Linda Arndt claimed that her free-speech rights were violated when supervisors would not let her respond to media reports. Police said the investigation could have been jeopardized if Arndt had been allowed to speak.

Arndt was the first officer on the scene when the body of 6-year-old JonBenet was found in her parents’ basement Dec. 26, 1996. No arrests have been made.

Arndt was criticized for allowing JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey , to search the home without an accompanying officer and for placing a blanket over the girl’s body, possibly contaminating evidence. She also was criticized for failing to take statements immediately from JonBenet’s parents. She was removed from the case five months later and resigned in 1999.