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Back to 1999 Headlines

6/2/1999

Magazine: Lawyer given tape of 911 call

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER June is already looking a lot like May for the Ramsey grand jurors.

The jury probing the 1996 death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey did not hold its semi-regular Tuesday session, while most of the news was being made elsewhere. The jury also skipped several Tuesday sessions last month.

And, much like the events of May, most of Tuesday's news centered on JonBenet's 12-year-old brother Burke, who was nine when she was slain in the family home.

Newsweek, in an edition to be published this week, claims Burke Ramsey 's lawyer was given a copy of the tape of Patsy Ramsey 's 911 call early in the morning of Dec. 26, 1996.

Burke Ramsey reportedly testified before the grand jury nearly two weeks ago and, according to the June 7 edition of Newsweek, Burke's Atlanta-based lawyer, Jim Jenkins, was given a copy of the tape.

Earlier reports said the tape contradicts statements given by JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy, indicating Burke was in bed during the entire ordeal.

An enhanced version of the tape reportedly contains Burke's voice asking questions and the voice of an adult male presumed to be John Ramsey telling him to go back to bed.

Analysts and prosecutors have said Burke Ramsey 's testimony could be a key to the now 29-month-old investigation. He is not considered a suspect, police and prosecutors have said.

The Newsweek report said District Judge Roxanne Bailin ordered District Attorney Alex Hunter to turn over a copy prior to Burke's testimony. The article reportedly says Bailin ordered the tape to be turned over because Colorado law allows grand jury witnesses to see copies of earlier statements.

According to the Newsweek article, John and Patsy Ramsey accompanied their son to Boulder for his late May appearance.

While the national spotlight remains on the Boulder County Justice Center, things were abnormally quiet there on Tuesday. Hunter's spokeswoman, Suzanne Laurion, said both Hunter and grand jury specialist Michael Kane were working at mid-day.

Sources have also said Hunter's office will not seek additional funding for the grand jury until late in the month, if it is needed at all.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Wise has traditionally appeared before the county commissioners several weeks before the funding runs out. The county in March funded the probe through the end of June, but sources said he will not return for additional money until the last few days of the month.

The commissioners approved the last appropriation without speaking with Wise. Commissioner Ron Stewart recently said he feels the county must continue funding the probe until the grand jury has done its work, saying, "Now is not the time to raise certain questions, but that time may come when the grand jury is done."