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MARATHON TRIAL UPDATES

Penalty phase set to start

Judge orders release of JonBenet grand jury docs

DENVER — A Colorado judge ordered the release Wednesday of the 1999 grand jury indictment in the killing of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, possibly shedding light on why prosecutors decided against charging her parents.

Senior District Judge J. Robert Lowenbach ruled that the indictment signed by the grand jury foreman constituted an official action and must be released Friday. A reporter for the Daily Camera and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a lawsuit to seek the records.

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In the ruling, Lowenbach noted that District Attorney Alex Hunter prepared possible charges against John Ramsey and his wife, Patsy, three years after the death. The indictment has remained sealed for 14 years because Hunter decided against pursuing charges, but officials have never explained that decision.

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