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Officials set to `mat

by Pam Regensberg
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- Boulder officials have assembled what they are calling an ``expert prosecution'' team that includes two experts who worked for O.J. Simpson's criminal defense team to help find the person who killed 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey .

Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, in a rare news conference this morning, said he has been in contact with criminologist Dr. Henry Lee and criminal defense attorney Barry Scheck.

Lee and Scheck became instant celebrities when they appeared in the Simpson trial.

Lee, who testified on Simpson's behalf, is the director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory and has nearly 40 years experience in forensic and police science.

Scheck, another key member of the Simpson defense team, is a commissioner on the New York State Commission on Forensic Science. The team also consists of district attorneys from Denver, Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe counties, along with Hunter's own staff -- headed by Chief Trial Deputy Peter Hofstrom.

``We are seeking the best of the best,'' Hunter said. ``We feel we can match the resources of anyone.''

Hunter added, however, that his comment did not refer to the Ramseys ' highly regarded legal team.

``I don't care ultimately who I come down on, but I'm going to be ready to match the resources of anyone,'' he said in response to a reporter's question.

Hunter also said he has spoken with the Capital Crime Unit just in case his office decides to seek the death penalty in the case.

Though officials appear confident they'll make an arrest, it may be several weeks, even months, away, Boulder police Chief Tom Koby said. Evidence collected from the Ramseys ' home has now been shipped off to Cellmark Laboratoris in Maryland.

``This is going to take a while,'' Koby said. ``We will not be making any arrests until all tests are done. We are in for the long haul.''

Nevertheless, Hunter added that the list of suspects has narrowed.

``We know where we are headed, we know this case is going to be solved,'' Hunter said at the press conference, the first in what will be a weekly series of briefings. ``We're going to solve this case and we're are going to do it our way.''

Hunter said he appreciated the public's concern to bring ``swift justice'' in the slaying and be more forthcoming with information.

But, it is necessary to keep information close to the vest to maintain the integrity of the case, he added. ``I feel like I'm being smart. I feel like the people who elected me want me to be smart.''

JonBenet's body was found the day after Christmas in the basement of her family home. She had been strangled and possibly sexually assaulted. Media reports stated the little girl's skull may have been fractured.

Her parents, John and Patricia ``Patsy'' Ramsey remain in seclusion and have not submitted to a formal police interview.

Hunter also had a message for the person responsible for JonBenet's death.

``I mentioned that the list of suspects has narrowed,'' he said. ``Soon there will be no one on the list but you. When that time comes, Chief Koby and our people are going to bear down on you. You have stripped us of any mercy we might have had at the beginning. We will seek justice and you will pay.''