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Back to 1999 Headlines

4/9/1999

6 more months for grand jury

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- The life of the grand jury investigating the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey has been extended by six months.

District Judge Roxanne Bailin on Thursday approved a motion -- filed under seal Wednesday by Deputy District Attorney Michael Kane -- to extend the jury's term until Oct. 20.

The extension came as no surprise.

Two weeks ago the Boulder County Commissioners gave District Attorney Alex Hunter's office an additional $62,000 to fund the nearly 30-month-old investigation through June.

The motion was released after being approved by Bailin, who in September ordered all motions relating to the Ramsey case to be filed secretly.

Kane's motion said the grand jury, which also operates in secrecy, has met ``in excess of 35 full days'' since it was formed in September.

The motion claimed the investigation ``has not been completed and is not expected to be finished by the expiration of the jurors' regular term.''

That term would have expired at midnight on April 21. Colorado law allows for the extension of a grand jury term by not more than six months.

In asking for the extension, Kane argued that if the term is not extended, the 1999 statutory grand jury -- not yet seated -- would have to start over and would be ``required to duplicate the work of the present grand jurors.''

Kane called that an ``inefficient use of those jurors' time'' that would also prove costly.

Speculation, meanwhile, continues to surround the case.

Los Angeles-based freelance radio reporter Mike Evans, who on Wednesday was in Boulder, on Thursday reported that Patsy Ramsey has told friends she expects to be indicted in her daughter's death. Evans, quoting unnamed sources, said Patsy Ramsey is also making arrangements to stay in Boulder with friends in the event she is indicted and tried. According to Evans, John and Patsy Ramsey , who have already sold their homes in Boulder and Michigan, are also preparing to sell the Atlanta home they purchased months after their daughter's death.

In a related development, portions of tapes recorded by former Globe reporter Jeff Shapiro were scheduled to be aired Thursday evening on CBS-TV's ``48 Hours.''

Shapiro's tapes reportedly address accusations that the tabloid threatened to use sensitive information about former Boulder detective Steve Thomas' family in order to get information from him regarding the Ramsey probe.

Thomas quit his job in June and, saying Hunter had ``effectively crippled this case.''