Judge orders release of edited Ramsey warrant, affidavit
Nov. 17, 1997
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) _ A judge today ordered the release of documents involving a police search of the vacation home of JonBenet Ramsey's family, but said some material would be blacked out.
District Judge Richard W. May ruled that a search warrant and affidavit from a March 6 search of the Charlevoix house should be made public.
To be deleted: material whose publication could set back the investigation of JonBenet's murder or violate the privacy of the Ramsey family and ``third parties'' whose names have not been disclosed.
``The integrity of the criminal investigation and future trial, privacy rights of third parties, and certain personal information concerning the Ramseys outweighs the public desire for access to this material,'' said May, whose opinion was posted on the Internet.
JonBenet, a 6-year-old beauty queen, was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her Boulder, Colo., home Dec. 26, 1996.
Charlevoix County Prosecutor Mary Beth Kur could delay the release of the documents by appealing May's ruling. Michigan law gives her 21 days to do so. She did not immediately return a phone call this morning.
During a Nov. 6 hearing, Ms. Kur argued that ``the integrity of the investigation could be severely damaged'' if the documents were released before an arrest is made.
The documents were sought by The Denver Post and Denver television station KMGH.
After Ms. Kur decides whether to appeal, the Post and KMGH will have the right to appeal May's decision to delete some material in the documents. Roy Hayes, an attorney for the Post, said he did not know whether they would do so.
``We're very pleased with the decision to give the public access to much of these materials,'' Hayes said.
Earlier this month, a warrant and affidavit from an earlier search of the vacation home were released. They showed police were seeking evidence that someone had threatened or stalked the Ramsey family.