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Forensic expert called again
DA asks Henry Lee to consult on Ramsey case
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer



Renowned forensic expert Henry Lee will be returning to Colorado to meet with Boulder County District Attorney's officials to discuss the JonBenét Ramsey homicide investigation, which a grand jury has been reviewing for seven months.
Lee, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety and former consultant for the O.J. Simpson murder defense team, reportedly will be in the Boulder area later this week, marking at least his third trip here in connection with the Ramsey case.
Lee, who is working as a consultant to District Attorney Alex Hunter on the Ramsey case, said Tuesday from his Connecticut office that he did not know exactly when the meeting would be or what the prosecutors wanted from him. He did say the prosecutors had called the meeting.
Hunter's spokeswoman, Suzanne Laurion, declined comment on Lee's visit other than to say a meeting has been scheduled.
"We were hoping this would be a private meeting," she said.
In March, Lee met with Hunter in Connecticut as part of a crimes-against children symposium held at the University of New Haven.
When Lee met with prosecutors in February 1998 at a private room at the Denver International Airport, he said he believed the case had a 50-50 chance of being solved. He also attended a case presentation in Boulder in June 1998.
When asked Tuesday what he thought of the case, Lee said he has consulted with Hunter on crime scene photos and laboratory work in the past but couldn't comment on the case at this point because he hasn't been kept appraised of the day-to-day developments of the case.
"I really don't have the whole picture about the case," Lee said. "It is not going to be fair to them to make a comment."
It is not known whether Lee will be called to testify before the grand jury.
The grand jury investigating the Ramsey case met again Tuesday, but it is not known what was discussed.
Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, who has also consulted with Hunter on the case, said it his belief the grand jury would be entering into its deliberative phase later this month. The grand jury, which has been convened for almost a year, can meet until April 22 before the district attorney must request an extension.
Grant said an extension is not unlikely since prosecutors would want to remove any "artificial" perceptions by jury members that they are under a time constraint to make a decision.
Unlike trial juries, a grand jury can come back after deliberations and ask to see more evidence or more witnesses.
Laurion said Tuesday a decision on whether to ask for an extension might not be made until the last day. Hunter has given indications it is being considered.
Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in her family's basement Dec. 26, 1996.
Her parents John and Patsy Ramsey have been the focus of the investigation, although they maintain they are innocent.
It is not known whether the Ramseys have testified or will be called before the grand jury.

April 7, 1999
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