JonBenet Ramsey murder: Grand jury voted to indict parents John and Patsy Ramsey for child abuse

6-year-old beauty queen found dead in 1996

BOULDER, Colo. - A grand jury investigating JonBenet Ramsey's death voted to indict her parents on child abuse resulting in death in 1999, The Boulder Daily Camera reported.

However, then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the indictment and prosecute the case, the Camera reports. Hunter reportedly believed he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

The 6-year-old beauty queen was found dead in her home on Christmas night in 1996. Police initially suspected family members, including her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and her brother, Burke.

But in 2008, District Attorney Mary Lacy cleared JonBenet's parents and brother based on updated DNA analysis.

-- Reaction to the report --

Legal analyst and defense attorney Dan Recht called the case unusual, saying he couldn't recall another like it. He speculates the jury compromised to a point Hunter felt didn't fit the facts of the case.

Whether that was within the power of the District Attorney, Recht said, is unclear.

"When I read the rules, as I did earlier today, it seems like in fact he had the power to do that and he certainly did. But I know there's other legal experts that are saying that when a grand jury has an indictment signed by a jury foreman, then the prosecutor is obligated to sign that indictment and present it to the court," Recht said. "The whole world was watching this case back 11 years ago, and yes, I think he didn't want his decision debated in sort of a national press."

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