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  1. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherokee View Post
    Because the DA was in on the cover-up. Alex Hunter never intended to prosecute the Ramseys for ANY reason. It was all for show. If Steve Thomas hadn't written his book exposing the corruption and what really went on behind the scenes in the Ramsey case, we would never have known the truth of Ramsey involvement or Hunter's complicity. Hunter didn't know Thomas was going to blow the whistle, and he assumed the furor would die down eventually after the Ramseys moved back to Georgia.

    Hunter eventually got what he wanted - a dead case, no prosecution, and the Ramseys safely out of reach. Because of Steve Thomas and the advent of the internet (with people who were interested in the truth), Hunter had to wait for it longer than he originally thought.

    This kind of corruption goes on all the time and has gone on forever. It's just that we never hear about it unless someone has the courage to report it.
    One thing that I have pondered is what would have happened if the successor to Hunter was someone such as Stan Garnett. Let’s face it, at the very least, Lacy made sure that the Ramseys would have no worries for 8 years. Obviously, SG couldn’t have been any worse, and wouldn’t have taken the case away from the BPD.

  2. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elle_1 View Post
    I hope you don't mind me enquiring Cynic. Are you a lawyer? You certainly sound like one. I am 82 and I have learned a lot from the younger ones here who have posted on this case for a few years.
    I hope you’re not trying to hurt my feelings by asking if I’m a lawyer. LOL
    (Lin Wood is a lawyer, after all.)
    If you were thinking of lawyers, who are also human beings, like Alan Jackson (who brilliantly prosecuted Phil Spector) or Daniel Petrocelli, then I will accept you inquiry as a complement.
    The answer is no, BTW, I’m not a lawyer.

  3. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    It certainly seems like LE were very aware that poor JB's body had been penetrated after death as part of the staging.
    It’s possible that there was only one incident of sexual contact that night solely for the purpose of concealing chronic sexual abuse or perhaps a single incident solely for the purpose of sexual abuse. It’s also possible that there were two incidents of sexual contact that night, a sexual assault/molestation followed by her death, followed by further sexual contact as part of the staging to cover a history of ongoing sexual abuse.
    To successfully prosecute under the felony murder statute, the prosecution would probably leave it as an open ended situation, merely showing that there was evidence of acute trauma as a result of sexual assault, (in addition to the evidence for chronic abuse.)
    Ritter was wrong in his assertion that it would have to be proven that JonBenet was alive when she was violated.

    The following appeal case, although not from Colorado, does have a similarly worded felony murder statute and shows that the prosecution does not need to prove the victim was alive during the commission of the underlying felony. It shows the tremendous flexibility inherent in the felony murder statute.

    (Gutierrez’ appeal was denied)
    PEOPLE v. GUTIERREZ
    The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Nicholas GUTIERREZ, Defendant-Appellant.
    No. 1-07-2516, June 30, 2010
    After a jury trial, defendant, Nicholas Gutierrez, was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, burglary, and concealment of a homicidal death. He was sentenced to natural life in prison. On appeal, defendant argues that: (1) his sentence is excessive; (2) his conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault should be reversed because the State failed to prove that the victim was alive at the time of the sexual assault

    Defendant argues that the crime of sexual assault requires that the State prove that the victim was alive at the time of the sexual acts. He contends that his conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault must be reversed because the State failed to prove that Mary was alive at the time he assaulted her.

    People v. Henarix, 250 Ill.App.3d 88 (1993), refutes defendant's contention. In Hendrix, the body of the 71-year-old victim was found 30 to 48 hours after death, and the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and burglary. On appeal, the defendant argued that he was not proven guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault because the medical examiner could not conclusively establish that any sexual assault occurred before death. This court concluded that we will not draw a bright line which would require the State in all similar cases to establish the precise time of death in order to prove a sexual assault upon a murder victim. Hendrix, 250 Ill.App.3d at 103. Accordingly, the court concluded that the State proved defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hendrix, 250 Ill.App.3d at 103.

    We note, however, that a different panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed with Hutner. People v. Diefenbach, No. 176489, slip op at 6 n.1 (Mich.App. August 20, 1996). Further, Holt was superseded by Wisconsin's sexual assault statute (Wis.Stat. § 940.225(7) (2005)), which provides, “This section applies regardless of whether a victim is dead or alive at the time of sexual contact or sexual intercourse.” Similarly, Pennsylvania's “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse” statute now provides that the term “forcible compulsion” includes “compulsion resulting in another person's death, whether the death occurred before, during or after the sexual intercourse.” Pa. Cons.Stat. Ann. § 3123(e) (2009 Supp.).

    It was sufficient that the State proved the elements of the crimes and the accompanying felonies were part of the “same criminal episode.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534.
    Thomas declined to adopt the California Supreme Court's reasoning in People v. Morris, 46 Cal.3d 1, 756 P.2d 843, 249 Cal.Rptr. 119 (1988), and People v. Green, 27 Cal.3d 1, 609 P.2d 468, 164 Cal.Rptr. 1 (1980), which determined that its capital punishment statute is inapplicable when the felony that accompanies the murder is “ ‘merely incidental to the murder.’ “ Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534, quoting Green, 27 Cal.3d at 61, 609 P.2d at 505, 164 Cal.Rptr. at 38. Thomas found that the language of the California statute is different from Illinois's statutes because it permits the imposition of the death penalty when the jury concluded that the defendant committed murder “ ‘during the commission or attempted commission of” several enumerated felonies. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534, quoting Green, 27 Cal.3d at 59, 609 P.2d at 504, 164 Cal.Rptr. at 37. This language contemplates a shorter time frame than does the “ ‘in the course of” language found in the Illinois statute. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535, quoting Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-l(b)(6). “That is, we think that the Illinois statute recognizes that the crime of murder is not necessarily complete when the victim's heart stops beating, but rather the crime continues through the time that the perpetrator conceals the crime and flees the scene.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535. “The statute imparts no significance to the precise timing of the * * * various felonies defendant commits.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535. Accordingly, the court concluded that a defendant is eligible for the death penalty if he commits murder and one of the specifically enumerated felonies either simultaneously or as part of the same criminal episode. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535.
    Here, the defendant committed both murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, and these crimes occurred “essentially simultaneously. ” It was sufficient that the State proved the elements of the crimes were part of the “same criminal episode.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534. “To parse the crimes out into bounded acts would contradict the reality that these crimes were intertwined both temporally and functionally.” Sample, 326 Ill.App.3d at 928.

    III. CONCLUSION
    For the foregoing reasons, we affirm defendant's convictions and sentence.

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/il-court-...s/1530818.html


    Here, once again, is the Colorado statute:
    Colorado (Col. Rev. Stat. Sec. 18-3-102)
    It is first degree murder for someone, acting alone or with others to (1) commit or attempt to commit arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault, class 3 felony sexual assault on a child, or escape and (2) in the course of or in furtherance of the crime or in immediate flight from it, anyone causes the death of a person other than one of the participants. The crime is subject to the death penalty or life in prison.

    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-r-0087.htm
    Last edited by cynic; May 21, 2011, 8:44 pm at Sat May 21 20:44:32 UTC 2011.

  4. #40

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    Thanks for you response, Cynic, and everyone else's, too. I'm a bit behind, as you can see, but I'll catch up as soon as I can and give you my opinion, which you did ask for, Cynic. I didn't mean to be evasive--well, yes I did , but it's just because I've given my opinion so often and so throughly for so long, I enjoy hearing what others have to add. Your contributions at WS certainly make your opinion one I consider well researched, which is why I asked.

    If there's one person who cannot complain about the depth of your pontifications, that would be me--anyone can tell you that.

    Have to run now, but be back later.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
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  5. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    ...but it's just because I've given my opinion so often and so throughly for so long...
    And I, for one, have appreciated it.

  6. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    And I, for one, have appreciated it.
    Why thank you! And now if I could only learn how to type and spell.

    Sorry I didn't get back to this yet. Life has been throwing me some time-consuming curves lately, but I will try to read through this in the next few days, if fate allows.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

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  7. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    I hope you’re not trying to hurt my feelings by asking if I’m a lawyer. LOL
    (Lin Wood is a lawyer, after all.)
    If you were thinking of lawyers, who are also human beings, like Alan Jackson (who brilliantly prosecuted Phil Spector) or Daniel Petrocelli, then I will accept you inquiry as a complement.
    The answer is no, BTW, I’m not a lawyer.
    Of course it's a compliment to you, young Cynic! :-) All I can say is you sure write like a lawyer. I do enjoy reading intelligent posts and coming across scenarios I never thought of. I come here and enjoy reading posts rather than read a newspaper or a book.

    A big thank you to all of you FFJ girls and Shadow, of course! I love reading his posts on his FBI contacts. He's the closest I'll ever get to the FBI.
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.

  8. #44

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    Okay, spent two hrs. reading the wrong thread to "refresh" my thoughts on this thread. lol That's about par for my course, lately.

    Anyhow, half way through this one now and will respond tonight after supper, if nothing else jumps up and grabs me by the short hairs....

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.

  9. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    It’s possible that there was only one incident of sexual contact that night solely for the purpose of concealing chronic sexual abuse or perhaps a single incident solely for the purpose of sexual abuse. It’s also possible that there were two incidents of sexual contact that night, a sexual assault/molestation followed by her death, followed by further sexual contact as part of the staging to cover a history of ongoing sexual abuse.
    To successfully prosecute under the felony murder statute, the prosecution would probably leave it as an open ended situation, merely showing that there was evidence of acute trauma as a result of sexual assault, (in addition to the evidence for chronic abuse.)
    Ritter was wrong in his assertion that it would have to be proven that JonBenet was alive when she was violated.

    The following appeal case, although not from Colorado, does have a similarly worded felony murder statute and shows that the prosecution does not need to prove the victim was alive during the commission of the underlying felony. It shows the tremendous flexibility inherent in the felony murder statute.

    (Gutierrez’ appeal was denied)
    PEOPLE v. GUTIERREZ
    The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Nicholas GUTIERREZ, Defendant-Appellant.
    No. 1-07-2516, June 30, 2010
    After a jury trial, defendant, Nicholas Gutierrez, was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, burglary, and concealment of a homicidal death. He was sentenced to natural life in prison. On appeal, defendant argues that: (1) his sentence is excessive; (2) his conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault should be reversed because the State failed to prove that the victim was alive at the time of the sexual assault

    Defendant argues that the crime of sexual assault requires that the State prove that the victim was alive at the time of the sexual acts. He contends that his conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault must be reversed because the State failed to prove that Mary was alive at the time he assaulted her.

    People v. Henarix, 250 Ill.App.3d 88 (1993), refutes defendant's contention. In Hendrix, the body of the 71-year-old victim was found 30 to 48 hours after death, and the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and burglary. On appeal, the defendant argued that he was not proven guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault because the medical examiner could not conclusively establish that any sexual assault occurred before death. This court concluded that we will not draw a bright line which would require the State in all similar cases to establish the precise time of death in order to prove a sexual assault upon a murder victim. Hendrix, 250 Ill.App.3d at 103. Accordingly, the court concluded that the State proved defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hendrix, 250 Ill.App.3d at 103.

    We note, however, that a different panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed with Hutner. People v. Diefenbach, No. 176489, slip op at 6 n.1 (Mich.App. August 20, 1996). Further, Holt was superseded by Wisconsin's sexual assault statute (Wis.Stat. § 940.225(7) (2005)), which provides, “This section applies regardless of whether a victim is dead or alive at the time of sexual contact or sexual intercourse.” Similarly, Pennsylvania's “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse” statute now provides that the term “forcible compulsion” includes “compulsion resulting in another person's death, whether the death occurred before, during or after the sexual intercourse.” Pa. Cons.Stat. Ann. § 3123(e) (2009 Supp.).

    It was sufficient that the State proved the elements of the crimes and the accompanying felonies were part of the “same criminal episode.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534.
    Thomas declined to adopt the California Supreme Court's reasoning in People v. Morris, 46 Cal.3d 1, 756 P.2d 843, 249 Cal.Rptr. 119 (1988), and People v. Green, 27 Cal.3d 1, 609 P.2d 468, 164 Cal.Rptr. 1 (1980), which determined that its capital punishment statute is inapplicable when the felony that accompanies the murder is “ ‘merely incidental to the murder.’ “ Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534, quoting Green, 27 Cal.3d at 61, 609 P.2d at 505, 164 Cal.Rptr. at 38. Thomas found that the language of the California statute is different from Illinois's statutes because it permits the imposition of the death penalty when the jury concluded that the defendant committed murder “ ‘during the commission or attempted commission of” several enumerated felonies. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534, quoting Green, 27 Cal.3d at 59, 609 P.2d at 504, 164 Cal.Rptr. at 37. This language contemplates a shorter time frame than does the “ ‘in the course of” language found in the Illinois statute. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535, quoting Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-l(b)(6). “That is, we think that the Illinois statute recognizes that the crime of murder is not necessarily complete when the victim's heart stops beating, but rather the crime continues through the time that the perpetrator conceals the crime and flees the scene.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535. “The statute imparts no significance to the precise timing of the * * * various felonies defendant commits.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535. Accordingly, the court concluded that a defendant is eligible for the death penalty if he commits murder and one of the specifically enumerated felonies either simultaneously or as part of the same criminal episode. Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 535.
    Here, the defendant committed both murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, and these crimes occurred “essentially simultaneously. ” It was sufficient that the State proved the elements of the crimes were part of the “same criminal episode.” Thomas, 137 Ill.2d at 534. “To parse the crimes out into bounded acts would contradict the reality that these crimes were intertwined both temporally and functionally.” Sample, 326 Ill.App.3d at 928.

    III. CONCLUSION
    For the foregoing reasons, we affirm defendant's convictions and sentence.

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/il-court-...s/1530818.html


    Here, once again, is the Colorado statute:
    Colorado (Col. Rev. Stat. Sec. 18-3-102)
    It is first degree murder for someone, acting alone or with others to (1) commit or attempt to commit arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault, class 3 felony sexual assault on a child, or escape and (2) in the course of or in furtherance of the crime or in immediate flight from it, anyone causes the death of a person other than one of the participants. The crime is subject to the death penalty or life in prison.

    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-r-0087.htm
    Hey, you've convinced me, for one. Arrest Patsy now!

    I am assuming these laws were on the books in 1996, as well. The reason I mention that is because some laws were actually changed in Colorado as a result of the Ramsey case: for example, the law that gave anyone questioned by a grand jury the right to see any former statements made by the witness which LE possessed. The problem with this law was that this included not only LE interviews with witnesses, but any tapes, videos with audio, and any statements attributed to the witness by another, such as a friend saying that John Ramsey said blahblah.

    Some speculated this was the reason the Ramseys weren't called to testify at the grand jury. They would have been entitled to every interview they'd given LE, as well as copies of transcripts of interviews others had with LE in which any conversation with the Ramseys was related to LE. For ex.: Fleet White surely told LE the details of what passed between him and JR that morning, the night before, the week after, and probably many times in the past. The Ramseys may not have known exactly what White said to LE, but before they testified for the grand jury, through their lawyers they'd have requested all of that documented for them, for every witness questioned or who volunteered info, if it contained anything attributed as related by John or Patsy, to each his/her own, of course.

    Also, as you know, I'm sure, it was this grand jury witness law that allowed Burke's lawyer to gain access to a copy of the 911 call. What it didn't do was allow him access to a copy of the "enhanced" 911 tape, which was processed evidence, like a DNA profile report. Hunter was said to have fought over that with the judge and lost.

    Personally I now believe Hunter wanted everyone to believe that the grand jury law about prior statements was his reason for not calling the Ramseys, but I don't believe that at all anymore. I think Hunter never wanted the Ramseys questioned by a competent lawyer like Kane without a lawyer, in front of the grand jury and by the grand jury. No doubt Patsy and John would have slipped up. That's why Hunter refused to call a grand jury for so long when it was clearly needed for investigative purposes, IMO. Even Mike Kane said the grand jury should have been called much sooner. Only after Thomas sent his resignation letter to the governor and made it public did the governor force Hunter to call a grand jury or lose control of the case.

    At any rate, after the silly conclusion to the grand jury, complete with Hunter doing his obligatory faux press conference to signal the Ramseys they were free and clear, the Colorado legislature changed the grand jury "prior witness statements" rule. Too late for this case.

    But I trust you know the dates of the law you've cited, and therefore they'd have applied to this case back in 1996. Your sources of Beckner's comments about felony murder would seem to confirm that, as well.

    It's kind of interesting that it was the talking-head lawyers who discussed this case on TV every night for years who said it couldn't be tried in Colorado without specific persons being charged with the actual individual elements of the crime. I'll give Darnay this: he was the first of them to state that DA Hunter had "no will to prosecute." That was spot on.

    So thanks for honing it down for us.

    I also agree that sitting in jail for a couple of years might have given Patsy something to think about. I don't know that she'd ever have broken and told the truth, not with her law team and connections. Since I firmly believe she was involved up to her dog collar, talking would only have helped her if she'd made a deal to rat out John. I can't see her doing that. But at least it would have been some time behind bars to face who she was and what she'd done.

    A prosecutor should have rolled the dice on this case. Win or lose, at least they could have tried to make the case, to get justice and the truth to light instead of burying it for all time. If they thought that the Ramseys were not "real criminals" and this was a fluke, sorry, NOT THEIR JOB to decide guilt or innocence. That's the jury's job. And what about all the truly innocent people whose lives were so wrongly impacted after being labeled "suspect" by Team Ramsey? They deserve for the evidence to be revealed in court--and if not there, then in a FOIA dump.

    But no way would the powers-that-be in Boulder have put Patsy Ramsey in jail and on trial: she was just too rich, too sympathetic, and they already have a long history of letting rich people get away with murder in Colorado.

    I still don't believe Enron's Ken Lay died there, either.

    Well, I'm just rambling, cynic. You made the case well. Now if only they change the law so that Patsy can be posthumously tried for felony murder....

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

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  10. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    At any rate, after the silly conclusion to the grand jury, complete with Hunter doing his obligatory faux press conference to signal the Ramseys they were free and clear…
    I want to respond to several things in your post, KK, but I'll start with this bit of info relating to grand jury shenanigans and the possibility that Stan Garnett might indeed be different from his pathetic predecessors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little View Post
    March 16, 2008
    It once infuriated June Menger that reporters only seemed interested in her son’s execution-style murder because his girlfriend was the daughter of actor Robert Redford.
    But it is an aggravation she has gotten over in the years since the shotgun slaying of her son, Sid Wells, on Aug. 1, 1983.
    “I finally had to use that to get people interested,” Menger, 68, said.
    Yet today, she worries that former district attorney Alex Hunter and current DA Mary Lacy — both fearing failure under worldwide scrutiny — have shied away from bringing charges, she said.
    Sidney Wells and his mother, June Menger
    “I would rather have a jury of 12 decide, rather than one person in the district attorney’s office,” Menger said. “We have a very solid circumstantial case.”
    Lacy did not return a call for comment.

    “At this time, there is not sufficient evidence to form a good-faith belief in proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    skip

    Smika owed about a couple of hundred dollars for rent. Boulder police suspected that Wells confronted Smika about the rent and that is when he was shot in the back of the head at close range with a .20 gauge shotgun on Aug. 1, 1983. Wells’ body was found in Smika’s condominium by Wells’ older brother, Samuel.

    Smika was arrested a few months after the murder, as police relied on statements from Smika’s mother, the absence of signs of forced entry into the condo, and what police said were conflicting and, sometimes evasive, statements Smika had given them.

    skip

    Former DA Hunter and Smika’s attorneys agreed, in writing, that the grand jury convened to investigate the case would not indict Smika. They also agreed that Smika’s mother and sister would not be called as witnesses.

    skip

    In June 1997, Boulder police gave the FBI evidence from the case — including shotgun pellets from Wells’ head wound and two 20-gauge shells that had been found in a hunting vest of Smika’s recovered at his parents’ home in Akron.
    The FBI conducted tests on the lead and silver content in the pellets. But in September 2005, the FBI discontinued the testing after concerns that the findings of such tests were misinterpreted.
    Menger said she is skeptical that Lacy will ever file charges in the case.
    “I’m not real hopeful until we get a new district attorney,” she said.
    http://blogs.denverpost.com/coldcase...brutal-murder/

    http://www.forumsforjustice.org/foru...3&postcount=13

    January 13, 2011
    Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the prime suspect in the 1983 slaying of Sid Wells, one of Boulder's most notorious unsolved killings.

    But authorities have not been able to locate Thayne Smika, who was Wells' 24-year-old roommate at the time of his death and has been the main suspect for more than 27 years. Police haven't known his whereabouts since 1986.
    "There hasn't been a national or international hunt for Mr. Smika," Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said Thursday. "There will be now."



    The arrest warrant, which calls for a charge of first-degree murder and sets Smika's bond at $5 million, was signed by Boulder County District Court Judge Roxanne Bailin on Dec. 2. Records of the warrant remained sealed until Thursday, which Beckner said was to allow investigators to try to track the suspect down.
    Beckner said investigators went out of the state to interview family members and friends of Smika, but he declined to say where the investigations have taken place. He said the conversations have yielded "a few small tidbits" of information about Smika's whereabouts, but no one is sure where to look.



    "It's definitely a step forward that we've been waiting for years," she said. "We've always felt he was the one, but to get an arrest warrant is a big deal."
    Menger said she applauded District Attorney Stan Garnett's office for taking an interest in cold cases and pushing the investigation forward.
    While two previous district attorneys and a Boulder County grand jury all declined to pursue charges against Smika, Garnett said investigators have enough evidence to charge him.

    "We spent two years putting the pieces together, and I made a decision based on this stage of evidence," Garnett said.
    David Hayes, deputy chief of Boulder police who was one of the original investigators assigned to the Wells case, said Thursday that he's believed all along that Smika was responsible.
    "It feels good," Hayes said of the case finally moving forward.
    He said the department has relied heavily on testing of shotgun pellets recovered from Wells' body, which experts believe match those found in shotgun shells recovered from Smika's family home in eastern Colorado after the slaying.
    According to the arrest affidavit, detectives took previous ballistics evidence to a probability expert who found the likelihood of the same alloys existing in the same proportion in the same pellets to be between 1 in 2,925 and 1 in 665,250.
    Craig Silverman, a former prosecutor and legal commentator, said that level of probability is significant, noting that non-DNA evidence doesn't offer the same level of certainty.
    "Statistics that are valid are often very persuasive if it's coupled with other evidence," he said.
    Friends of Smika also told police in the 1990s that he made suspicious or incriminating statements after the homicide, but one woman who told police Smika admitted the crime to her has since died.
    Silverman said that will present a hurdle for prosecutors. Once a witness is dead, her statements usually cannot be admitted at trial. However, Silverman said Garnett wouldn't have moved forward if he didn't believe the evidence would be enough to convict Smika.



    While Smika was arrested on Oct. 6, 1983, about two months after the slaying, then-District Attorney Alex Hunter declined to charge him, saying there wasn't enough evidence.
    A Boulder County grand jury was convened to investigate the homicide but failed to issue an indictment in 1985 after Hunter made a secret agreement with Smika's public defender, Steve Jacobson, that the grand jury would not indict.
    Hunter said he made the deal in October 1983, before the grand jury began its investigation, in exchange for keeping Smika's expiring $100,000 bond in force for two extra weeks.
    The case was then closed for years, until Hayes and Detective Melissa Kampf reopened it in 1997 when a new witness offered information about Smika's actions around the time of the homicide.
    The FBI was also able to connect three shotgun shells found in Smika's mother's home in eastern Colorado with the one that killed Wells -- although the results of those tests have since been questioned.
    Hayes and Kampf asked Hunter to issue an arrest warrant for Smika, but Hunter declined again, saying there was "much more work to be done."
    Mary Lacy, who succeeded Hunter, also said it was premature to file charges against Smika when police asked her to in 2001.

    Garnett said he wouldn't second-guess the decisions of previous prosecutors, who saw the evidence in an earlier stage of development. He praised the willingness of Boulder police to pursue every angle prosecutors asked about.
    Garnett has made pursuing cold-case homicides a priority, with mixed results.
    "These are tough cases, and they take everything we have, but they're important to the community," he said.
    Smika disappeared in 1986 and hasn't talked with Boulder police since 1985.
    Still, authorities have continued their search for him.

    http://www.coloradodaily.com/ci_1708...#axzz1Opa3AtUJ
    Last edited by cynic; June 9, 2011, 9:33 pm at Thu Jun 9 21:33:06 UTC 2011.

  11. #47

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    In reading your last post, Cynic, where you mention the Smika murder case, I noticed something that confused me, as legalese often does. So I backtracked and pinpointed my problem and thought I'd share in case I'm not alone.

    In your original question to me, you quoted a statement of Darnay Hoffman's. I've bolded the specific part at the end which involves a felony murder charge, as opposed to a first-degree murder charge:

    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    BBM

    Do you ever recall this kk?

    Darnay Hoffman:
    Myth #4: Identifying the ransom note writer still doesn't mean the district attorney can get a murder conviction.

    This is not only wrong, it is the closest thing to a "Big Lie" being perpetrated by the district attorney's office. This "Whopper" goes something like this: Even if we know the ransom note writer, how can a jury convict them of a murder without more evidence of their physically participating in the actual killing of JonBenét? Simple. Colorado's felony murder statute makes anyone participating in such dangerous crimes as kidnapping equally responsible for any murder resulting from such activity. Much like the get-away-driver to a bank robbery where a guard is killed (who is later found guilty of murder despite not even being in the bank during the robbery and murder) the JonBenét ransom note writer can be charged with first-degree murder even if the police can't prove the writer actually killed JonBenét. Yet Alex Hunter persists in naively stating that even if the ransom note writer were identified and arrested and jailed, they would be immediately eligible for bail. This is also not true because felony murder is not a bailable offense in Colorado. The ransom note writer would have to sit in jail until they went to trial or made a deal to reveal JonBenét's murderer to the district attorney.

    http://classic-web.archive.org/web/1...man/5myths.htm
    Then you provided some other sources confirming what Darnay said: "felony murder is not a bailable offense."

    Quote Originally Posted by cynic
    BTW, I checked out Darnay’s statement that bail would not be an option if the Ramseys were charged with felony murder, and it appears to be true.

    FAQ: Colorado’s Bail Bonding System - Typical Bond Schedules and Other Information - Pretrial Release Services
    In the United States, an individual accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Most defendants have the right to be released on bail that is not excessive rather than remaining in jail pending the outcome of a trial.
    However, some serious crimes are not bailable offenses under Colorado law, including murder, kidnapping, and treason. In addition, persons arrested for a violent crime who have been previously convicted of a violent crime, or who are out on bail for a violent offense, are also not eligible for bail.

    http://colorado-domestic-violence-la...-Laws.html?P=Y
    I'm a bit confused because today you posted an article on the Smika murder case that is current to this year, which does mention a bond for Smika on a first-degree murder charge. Is the distinction a first-degree murder vs a felony murder charge?

    The arrest warrant, which calls for a charge of first-degree murder and sets Smika's bond at $5 million, was signed by Boulder County District Court Judge Roxanne Bailin on Dec. 2. Records of the warrant remained sealed until Thursday, which Beckner said was to allow investigators to try to track the suspect down.
    So here's a simple definition I found, to help me follow what you've painstakingly documented for us:

    Murder: First Degree

    In most states, first-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or "lying in wait" for the victim.

    For example, Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. Three days later, Dan waits behind a tree near Victor's front door. When Victor comes out of the house, Dan shoots and kills him.

    Most states also adhere to a legal concept known as the "felony murder rule," under which a person commits first-degree murder if any death (even an accidental one) results from the commission of certain violent felonies -- usually arson, burglary, kidnapping, rape, and robbery.

    For example, Dan and Connie rob Victor's liquor store, but as they are fleeing, Victor shoots and kills Dan. Under the felony murder rule, Connie can be charged with first-degree murder for Dan's death.
    http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a...st_degree.html

    I was actually a bit confused myself this morning and had to go over all this again, so thought I'd reiterate it for any other mentally challenged readers like me. (Meno-mind means I have a short term memory span of a cat.)

    So the argument Darnay and Chief Beckner made was that Patsy Ramsey could have been charged and convicted with felony murder if it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she wrote the ransom note, and if it was proven that the child was being sexually abused on and/or prior to the night she was murdered, and Patsy wrote the note to aid in covering both crimes...sort of like driving the getaway car?

    I've mangled that a bit, haven't I?

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.

  12. #48

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    I want to respond to several things in your post, KK, but I'll start with this bit of info relating to grand jury shenanigans and the possibility that Stan Garnett might indeed be different from his pathetic predecessors.



    January 13, 2011
    Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the prime suspect in the 1983 slaying of Sid Wells, one of Boulder's most notorious unsolved killings.

    But authorities have not been able to locate Thayne Smika, who was Wells' 24-year-old roommate at the time of his death and has been the main suspect for more than 27 years. Police haven't known his whereabouts since 1986.
    "There hasn't been a national or international hunt for Mr. Smika," Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said Thursday. "There will be now."



    The arrest warrant, which calls for a charge of first-degree murder and sets Smika's bond at $5 million, was signed by Boulder County District Court Judge Roxanne Bailin on Dec. 2. Records of the warrant remained sealed until Thursday, which Beckner said was to allow investigators to try to track the suspect down.
    Beckner said investigators went out of the state to interview family members and friends of Smika, but he declined to say where the investigations have taken place. He said the conversations have yielded "a few small tidbits" of information about Smika's whereabouts, but no one is sure where to look.



    "It's definitely a step forward that we've been waiting for years," she said. "We've always felt he was the one, but to get an arrest warrant is a big deal."
    Menger said she applauded District Attorney Stan Garnett's office for taking an interest in cold cases and pushing the investigation forward.
    While two previous district attorneys and a Boulder County grand jury all declined to pursue charges against Smika, Garnett said investigators have enough evidence to charge him.

    "We spent two years putting the pieces together, and I made a decision based on this stage of evidence," Garnett said.
    David Hayes, deputy chief of Boulder police who was one of the original investigators assigned to the Wells case, said Thursday that he's believed all along that Smika was responsible.
    "It feels good," Hayes said of the case finally moving forward.
    He said the department has relied heavily on testing of shotgun pellets recovered from Wells' body, which experts believe match those found in shotgun shells recovered from Smika's family home in eastern Colorado after the slaying.
    According to the arrest affidavit, detectives took previous ballistics evidence to a probability expert who found the likelihood of the same alloys existing in the same proportion in the same pellets to be between 1 in 2,925 and 1 in 665,250.
    Craig Silverman, a former prosecutor and legal commentator, said that level of probability is significant, noting that non-DNA evidence doesn't offer the same level of certainty.
    "Statistics that are valid are often very persuasive if it's coupled with other evidence," he said.
    Friends of Smika also told police in the 1990s that he made suspicious or incriminating statements after the homicide, but one woman who told police Smika admitted the crime to her has since died.
    Silverman said that will present a hurdle for prosecutors. Once a witness is dead, her statements usually cannot be admitted at trial. However, Silverman said Garnett wouldn't have moved forward if he didn't believe the evidence would be enough to convict Smika.



    While Smika was arrested on Oct. 6, 1983, about two months after the slaying, then-District Attorney Alex Hunter declined to charge him, saying there wasn't enough evidence.
    A Boulder County grand jury was convened to investigate the homicide but failed to issue an indictment in 1985 after Hunter made a secret agreement with Smika's public defender, Steve Jacobson, that the grand jury would not indict.
    Hunter said he made the deal in October 1983, before the grand jury began its investigation, in exchange for keeping Smika's expiring $100,000 bond in force for two extra weeks.
    The case was then closed for years, until Hayes and Detective Melissa Kampf reopened it in 1997 when a new witness offered information about Smika's actions around the time of the homicide.
    The FBI was also able to connect three shotgun shells found in Smika's mother's home in eastern Colorado with the one that killed Wells -- although the results of those tests have since been questioned.
    Hayes and Kampf asked Hunter to issue an arrest warrant for Smika, but Hunter declined again, saying there was "much more work to be done."
    Mary Lacy, who succeeded Hunter, also said it was premature to file charges against Smika when police asked her to in 2001.

    Garnett said he wouldn't second-guess the decisions of previous prosecutors, who saw the evidence in an earlier stage of development. He praised the willingness of Boulder police to pursue every angle prosecutors asked about.
    Garnett has made pursuing cold-case homicides a priority, with mixed results.
    "These are tough cases, and they take everything we have, but they're important to the community," he said.
    Smika disappeared in 1986 and hasn't talked with Boulder police since 1985.
    Still, authorities have continued their search for him.

    http://www.coloradodaily.com/ci_1708...#axzz1Opa3AtUJ
    I'm following you, cynic.

    Have you been reading about the case of Hunter's son's accidental death from drug overdose? I recently read an interview with Hunter in a follow-up article about that tragic death, and Hunter was as deliberately abstruse as ever. He's either spent too many decades evading or bargaining away his duties as a prosecutor to be able to look at his own son's death with clarity, or the man is just a bona fide liar. The pattern of obstructing the truth is clearly his leading position.

    I've posted the various items about the death of John Hunter-Hauck from drug overdose here to update this tragic story: http://www.forumsforjustice.org/foru...629#post187629
    Last edited by koldkase; June 10, 2011, 11:45 am at Fri Jun 10 11:45:34 UTC 2011.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.



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