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Ramsey jury set to re

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

DENVER The grand jury investigating the death of JonBenet Ramsey hasn't met for over two months, but it is about to get the funding to carry it well into the fall.

Officials at the District Attorney's Office anxious to keep secret the jury's schedule previously said no decision had been made regarding the possible need for additional funds.

On Monday afternoon, however, DA Alex Hunter's office announced it will soon seek money to fund the grand jury through October.

"We are going to request money to take us through October," said Suzanne Laurion, Hunter's spokeswoman. "We won't be appearing before the commissioners this week, but will probably make the request next week."

The investigation is currently operating on a $62,000 appropriation approved in March. That money was supposed to be gone by the end of June, but lasted longer than expected because the jury hasn't met since May 25 and there have been few other expenses outside lawyers' salaries.

The county has already spent $547,988 including $477,250 spent by the DA's office on the case.

With the expected new appropriation and expenses incurred by the City of Boulder, the cost of the now 31-month investigation has surpassed $1 million.

When the DA asks for more money, he is almost certain to get it. When the county commissioners approved the additional $62,000 in March, they did so without comment and without asking the DA's office any questions.

Ron Stewart, the chairman of the board of commissioners, earlier said he feels the county is duty-bound to fund the grand jury for as long as it takes and that it is not yet time to begin questioning those expenses.

Although the grand jury's work will now almost certainly extend past Labor Day, its legal life will end on Oct. 20. The DA would have to select a new jury and resubmit evidence in order to extend the grand jury probe past that time.