The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 14, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
Thursday, Dctober 14,1999 Page 2
No indictment in Ramsey case
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - A grand
jury decided there was insufficient evi
dence to indict anyone in the JonBenet
Ramsey slaying, ending a 13-month
investigation into the case, District
Attorney Alex Hunter announced
“The Boulder County grand jury
has completed its work and will not
return,” Hunter said. “No charges have
been filed.
“I must report to you that I and my
prosecutorial team believe we do not
have sufficient evidence to warrant the
filing of charges against anyone who
has been investigated at this time.”
Twelve jurors, who have met for
more than 13 months, left the Boulder
County Justice Center without com
ment about two hours before Hunter
issued a statement
Hunter declined to answer ques
tions and said he would meet with the
news media today.
The brutal crime set off a drawn
out, controversial search for her killer.
The prominence of the family - the
father, the millionaire president of
Access Graphics, the mother, a former
Miss West Virginia - and the beauty of
the little blond victim guaranteed
worldwide attention for nearly three
It was before dawn on the day after
Christmas in 1996 when Patsy Ramsey
says she found a 2'/2-page ransom note
on the back staircase in the family’s
upscale home that demanded $ 118,000
for the safe return of JonBenet.
“Listen Carefully!” the note begins.
“We are a group of individuals that rep
resent a small foreign faction. We
respect your business but not the coun
try that it serves. At this time we have
your daughter in our possession.”
Eight hours later, Ramsey says he
found his daughter’s body in a base
ment room, wrapped in a white blanket.
A rope was wrapped around her neck
and a wrist and tied to a stick.
A red-ink heart was drawn on her
left palm, and Ramsey told police he
removed duct tape from the child’s
mouth before carrying her body
An autopsy concluded JonBenet
suffered a skull fracture, was strangled
and beaten and may have been sexually
Critics claimed the investigation
was compromised early when detec
tives, believing they were dealing with
a kidnapping, allowed friends and fam
ily to roam through the Ramsey man
sion. They also asked Ramsey to con
duct a search, which led to the discov
...we do not have sufficient evidence to
warrant the filing of charges against anyone
who has been investigated at this time.”
Alex Hunter
district attorney
ery of the body.
The investigation also was frac
tured by infighting between police and
prosecutors over the best way to pro
Two investigators resigned; one
accused prosecutors of protecting the
Ramseys and blocking police efforts to
solve the case, while the other contend
ed his fellow officers were improperly
targeting innocent people, including
the Ramseys.
The two investigators embody the
two theories about JonBenet’s killer:
one focused on the parents; the other on
an intruder. The Ramseys, who now
live in suburban Atlanta, have repeated
ly denied any involvement in the crime.
They offered a $100,000 reward and
mounted a newspaper campaign seek
ing JonBenet’s killer.
Authorities amassed evidence that
supported both theories.
Lab tests concluded the ransom
note was written with a pen and pad that
belonged to the Ramseys.
Handwriting experts ruled Ramsey
out as the author, but said Patsy
Ramsey’s writing samples were incon
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
agents concluded four fibers on the
duct tape allegedly taken from
JonBenet’s mouth were consistent with
a jacket her mother wore Christmas
night, according to published reports.
The Boulder County grand jury of
eight women and four men began hear
ing evidence in the case in September
1998, listening to testimony from fami
ly, friends and police detectives. Its
term was set to expire Oct. 20.
Senate approves aid
for farming assistance
Senate gave final approval
Wednesday to a record $8.7 billion
package of emergency farm assis
It was the second big bailout in
many years for producers clobbered
by low commodity prices, drought
and flooding.
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said
it was “a generous response to the
needs in agriculture.”
The Senate’s 74-26 vote sends the
package to President Clinton for his
expected signature.
The size of this year’s bailout,
nearly $3 billion more than what
Congress approved a year ago, is rais
ing questions about die future of the
government’s market-oriented farm
policy. Lawmakers may not be
through doling out money to farmers
this year.
Congressional leaders are consid
ering additional assistance for produc
ers whose farms were washed out last
month by Hurricane Floyd. Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D
S.D., estimated $1 billion would be
What opposition there was to the
package Wednesday came primarily
from Eastern senators who said it did
n’t provide enough disaster assistance
or who wanted authority for New
England to continue controlling its
milk prices.
While not threatening a veto, the
Clinton administration has criticized
the way the money would be distrib
uted and also wants more disaster aid.
Most of the money in the package,
about $6 billion, is intended to help
farmers cope with a second year of
depressed commodity prices, with the
bulk of the aid going to the
Midwestern Com Belt
Farmers in Iowa would share $610
million, the most of any state, fol
lowed by Illinois with $535 million,
according to the Agriculture
Editor: Josh Funk
Managing Editor: Sarah Baker
Associate News Editor: Lindsay Young
Associate News Editor: Jessica Fargen
Opinion Editor: MaikBaldridge
Sports Editor: Dave Wilson
A&E Editor: Liza Holtmeier
Copy Desk Chief: Diane Broderick
Photo Chief: Lane Hkkenbottom
Design Chief: Melanie Falk
Art Director: Matt Haney
Web Editor: Gregg Stearns
Asst Web Editor: Jennifer Walker
Questions? Comments?
Ask for the appropriate section editor at
General Manager: Daniel Shattil
Publications Board Jessica Hofmann,
Chairwoman: (402) 477-0527
Professional Adviser: Don Walton,
Advertising Manager: Nick Partsch,
Asst. Ad Manager: Jamie Yeager
Classifield Ad Manager: Mary Johnson
Fax number: (402) 472-1761
World Wide Web:
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Union 20,1400 RSI, Lincoln, NE 685880448, Monday through Friday during the academic year;
h weekly during the summer sessions.The public has access to the Publications Board.
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Postmaster: Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Uraon 20,1400 R St.,
Lincoln NE 68588-0448. Periodical postagejiaid at Lincoln, NE.
Pakistan army rids
country of officials
■ Indian troops on alert
after Gen. Musharraf rids
Pakistan of its elected gov
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) —
Pakistan’s new military leader came
under pressure to restore democracy
Wednesday after his troops swept
away the elected government, raising
fears around the world at the prospect
of army rule in a nuclear-armed
Pakistan’s nuclear rival, India, put
its troops on alert and watched warily
for the next step by Gen. Pervaiz
Musharraf, a man Indians blame for
months of bloody fighting this sum
mer in disputed Kashmir.
Musharraf, head of Pakistan’s
army, gave no hint about his plans
Wednesday, maintaining silence after
announcing before dawn that his
troops had ousted Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif.
Tuesday’s lightning coup -
sparked by Sharif’s attempt to fire
Musharraf - capped months of grow
ing army resentment against the pre
mier for backing away from the fight
over Kashmir. President Clinton
pressured Sharif into convincing
Islamic fighters to pull back, report
edly outraging and humiliating army
In Washington, Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright warned the coup
created a “level of uncertainty” in
South Asia. She said U.S. officials
had been in contact with Pakistan’s
military leaders, trying to persuade
them to restore democratic govern
India and Pakistan, which con
ducted nuclear tests last year, have
fought three wars in 52 years, two of
them over Kashmir.
Pentagon spokesman Kenneth
Bacon played down worries over
Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program,
saying the coup had not changed the
situation since control of the weapons
program had always been in the
hands of the military.
Officials from both countries dis
missed fears of a Pakistani attack on
India. But India said efforts to revive
the peace process would be delayed
until the situation in Pakistan stabi
While Sharif remained under
house arrest Wednesday, Musharraf
met with President K.R. Narayanan
and a range of politicians.
That raised speculation that he
may try to cobble together an admin
istration of former politicians and
technocrats to rule the country.
Aside from setting up a provi
sional government, Musharraf could
call elections - a move required with
in three months under the constitu
tion - or try to rule himself.
From around the world came
demands he hand power back to a
democratic government.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan urged the army to restore
civilian rule quickly, and the
International Monetary Fund said it
was cutting off aid to Pakistan until
democracy returned.
In another sign of growing isola
tion, the Commonwealth - a group
ing of former British colonies - said
it might suspend Pakistan’s member
ship, a move last taken in 1995
against Nigeria. European Union also
said it would postpone a new trade
deal with Pakistan for the time being.
In India, Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee expressed concern
about the coup and said India was
willing to talk to any Pakistani
regime. But his foreign minister,
Jaswant Singh, said negotiations
would have to wait until the situation
Pakistan’s army spokesman react
ed angrily to India’s military alert
along the border.
“I think that India’s actions are
totally absurd putting its forces on
alert... as if Pakistan is going to try to
precipitate a war,” Brig. Rashid
Quereshi told The Associated Press.
■ Texas
Ambush leads to deaths
of three officers, police say
law officers were lured to a trailer
park by a bogus 911 call and shot
to death by a gunman who wound
ed two others before killing him
self, authorities said.
Jeremiah Engleton, 21, kept
firing from his hiding place in a
thicket as up to 75 officers sur
rounded the rural area Tuesday
night. After a three-hour standoff,
he shot himself in the head, investi
gators said.
One of the slain officers had
arrested Engleton early that morn
ing on charges of beating his wife,
and a counselor with the sheriff’s
department had persuaded her to
take their 15-month-old daughter
and leave him.
Sheriff’s Deputies Mark
Stephenson, 32, and Thomas
Monse, 31, were shot to death as
they approached the trailer.
Neither had time to call for help.
After ambushing them, Engleton
took each man’s gun and shot him
in the head.
■ Washington
Clinton repeats appeal to
expand civil rights laws
after the beating death of a gay col
lege freshman, President Clinton
on Wednesday repeated his appeal
to expand federal civil rights laws
to cover homosexuals.
Senate Democrats succeeded
in July in adding a gay rights mea
sure to a spending bill for the
Commerce, Justice and State
Republican leaders now want
the issue removed from the spend
ing bill. Democrats said they
would fight to keep the measure
The measure would add acts of
hatred motivated by sexual orien
tation, gender and disability to the
list of hate crimes already covered
by federal law. It would boost
penalties for the crimes and allow
federal prosecutors to step in if
local authorities decide against
■ Pennsylvania
Date slated for execution
of former Black Panther
Tom Ridge signed an execution
warrant Wednesday for former
radio journalist Mumia Abu
Jamal, less than two weeks after
the U.S. Supreme Court rejected
his request for a new trial.
Ridge ordered, that Abu-Jamal
be executed by lethal injection 6n
Dec. 2. Abu-Jamal’s lawyers
responded by announcing they
would file an appeal Friday in fed
eral court in Philadelphia.
Abu-Jamal, 45, a former Black
Panther and radio journalist, was
convicted of murder in the 1981
shooting of Philadelphia police
officer Daniel Faulkner.
Police who arrived at the scene
of the shooting said they found the
dying officer and a wounded Abu
Jamal lying near his own gun.
Several witnesses identified him
as the shooter and two people testi
fied that Abu-Jamal confessed at
the hospital. Abu-Jamal has denied