They tried to block Lou Smit
[b]2000-03-15: Rocky Mountain News: DAs tried to block testimony by Smit[/b]
DAs tried to block testimony by Smit
Grand jury finally did hear intruder theory
By Kevin McCullen
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

BOULDER -- Prosecutors last year tried to stop detective Lou Smit from sharing with a grand jury his theory that an intruder killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Court documents unsealed Tuesday show Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter obtained a court order in February 1999 prohibiting Smit from testifying before the grand jury investigating the 6-year-old beauty princess's slaying.

Smit fought the court order, which was eventually lifted, and in March detailed for the jury the theories he developed during his 18 months as Hunter's special investigator on the case.

Smit's attorney accused Hunter of not wanting to give the grand jury all of the facts in the case, according to the court documents. Authorities have named only JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, as suspects in the case.

"The prosecution is either intentionally or unintentionally emphasizing and focusing upon evidence which points to involvement of the Ramsey family and is not presenting clear evidence of involvement of an intruder in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey," attorney Greg Walta argued in court documents.

Neither Hunter nor Smit could be reached for comment Tuesday.

A source close to the case said prosecutors were concerned Smit, a former homicide investigator in Colorado Springs, would offer grand jurors only theories in the case and not present any factual evidence.

Smit this week publicly revealed the evidence that he believes shows an intruder killed JonBenet. Smit is now helping the Ramseys investigate their daughter's death.

Smit said an aluminum baseball bat with carpet fibers from inside the Ramsey house was found outside a broken basement window. JonBenet's skull was fractured by a blow to the head before she was strangled Christmas night 1996.

He also said packing material and leaves were found both inside and outside the broken window, which indicates an intruder could have entered or exited the house.

He also said marks on the girl's face match marks that would have been left by a Taser stun gun.

Smit's testimony in March 1999 came just weeks after several alternate jurors were dimissed, fueling speculation that the grand jury's work was near completion.

After Smit and others testified, the jury continued to meet until last October, when it closed its investigation without indicting anyone.

Smit resigned from Hunter's office in September 1998, after Hunter decided to take the investigation to the grand jury.

Smit said he quit, in part, because he believed Boulder police and prosecutors "had developed tunnel vision and were focusing only on the Ramsey family and not on other suspects," according to the court documents.

Smit initially asked Hunter for permission to make a three-hour "intruder theory" presentation, but was rejected, court documents show.

Smit made the request to ensure "all aspects of the evidence are presented before criminal charges are filed," records show.

Contact Kevin McCullen at (303) 442-8729 or

March 15, 2000

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