Governor Owens
Owens and Hunter discuss next steps in Ramsey case
By Karen Auge
Denver Post Capitol Bureau
Oct. 19 - The JonBenét Ramsey investigation moved to the Statehouse on Monday.
Gov. Bill Owens and Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter sat down at the Capitol on Monday evening - along with their respective teams of advisers - to talk about the investigation into the 6-year-old's death.
Last week, after a 13-month grand jury investigation ended without producing an indictment, Owens an nounced he would consider appointing a special prosecutor to take over the case. He then introduced a sevenmember Special Prosecutor Task Force that will advise him within a month whether to take that step.
At 5 p.m. Monday, the governor's task force and Hunter and his advisers gathered at the Capitol for a meeting that was expected to last into the night.
Photographers and reporters were allowed into the third-floor Senate hearing room, where the group was going to meet, only long enough to snap a few pictures and take a silent roll of those in attendance. Neither Owens nor Hunter would field questions from reporters.
On one side of the table sat Hunter, surrounded by his "dream team'' of Ramsey-case advisers: Adams County DA Bob Grant, Jefferson County DA Dave Thomas, Denver DA Bill Ritter, Arapahoe County DA Jim Peters, grand jury specialist Mike Kane, Bruce Levin, an Adams County prosecutor loaned to Hunter for the grand jury investigation, and Mitch Morrissey, loaned to Hunter from the Denver DA's office.
Owens sat across the table, surrounded by his own dream team assembled last week: Attorney General Ken Salazar; Don Quick, deputy attorney general for criminal justice; Anthony Vollack, former chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court; Troy Eid, the governor's chief legal counsel; Jeanne Smith, DA for El Paso and Teller counties; Stuart Van Meveren, Larimer County DA; and Gus Sandstrom, Pueblo County DA.
None of them walked in carrying briefcases, notebooks or anything that looked like evidence or grand jury documents.
They did, however, have pizza delivered around 6:30 p.m.
The investigation into JonBenét's death already has taken nearly three years and cost $2 million.
JonBenét was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parents' Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996. A Boulder grand jury took over the investigation Sept. 15, 1998, and ended last Wednesday without issuing an indictment.
The child's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, have maintained their innocence. However, Hunter and Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said the couple remains under an "umbrella of suspicion.''
Copyright 1999

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