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Ramseys File Defamation Suit

March 30, 2001

ATLANTA (AP) _ The parents of JonBenet Ramsey have filed a libel and defamation lawsuit against a former Boulder, Colo., police detective who accused the couple of having a role in their daughter’s death.

The 51-page complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta alleges Steve Thomas made false accusations about the couple in a book he co-wrote and in TV interviews promoting the book, ``JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation.″

Thomas did not return messages left Thursday.

John and Patsy Ramsey are seeking $65 million from Thomas, publisher St. Martin’s Press, and several other defendants, including unidentified Boulder police officials whom the Ramseys allege supplied Thomas with material for his work.

The suit accuses Thomas of securing a six-figure book contract with the promise he would say Patsy Ramsey killed 6-year-old JonBenet, and John Ramsey covered up the crime.

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in her family’s Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996. Police have said her parents remain under an umbrella of suspicion, but no one has been charged in her death. The Ramseys now live in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the Boulder County district attorney has asked a federal judge to stop the New York Post from seeing stacks of documents from the Ramsey investigation.

The newspaper is seeking all documents associated with the slaying, including those from the grand jury which disbanded without indicting anyone in the case.

The district attorney’s motion to block the Post’s subpoenas was filed Thursday in federal court in Denver. It argued the subpoena places an undue burden on the office since it includes tens of thousands of documents in 24 categories, some of which are privileged

The subpoena, issued March 15, orders the district attorney’s office to hand the documents over Monday.

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