From Denver’s 9 News KUSA:
KUSA– 9NEWS has confirmed from two sources that the DNA taken from John Mark Karr does not match the DNA samples taken from the crime scene in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.
9NEWS has also confirmed from different sources that no charges will be filed against Karr in connection with the Ramsey case by the Boulder County District Attorney’s office.
Jeff Goldstein offers four possible reasons:
1) the high profile nature of the Ramsey case–along with the seriousness of the charge–allowed the Boulder DA and the State Department to get extradition, even though they must have know that Karr had an alibi; now, Karr will be tried on molestation charges in California, where the punishment is potentially harsher than in Thailand (where the maximum sentence is 7 1/2 years).
2) The Boulder DA bungled yet again and failed to do even a preliminary check into Karr’s story–relying instead on some small similarities in handwriting and Karr’s own obsession with the case and veiled confessions to a CU professor.
3) Karr is simply a glory hound who, knowing he was going to be arrested anyway for charges in Thailand, figured he may as well grab the spotlight and the international media attention that would come with such a confession.
4) Karr’s obsession with the case ultimately convinced him he’d actually been involved in JonBenet Ramsey’s death. Because, well, he’s a crazy-ass pedophile.
I really want to believe it’s number one, but I have a feeling the DA bungled the case. If DA Mary Lacy knew the DNA didn’t match but took the opportunity to get Karr back to the states, why would she have put together such a self-congratulatory press conference when it was announced that Karr had been arrested? I’m sure we’ll find out more soon.
Update: Charlie Qudnunc made a point in the comments that I would like to address. He said that DA Lacy’s comments were measured and that tried to lower the expectations. I understand his point and I agree. She did try to lower the expectations. But she also spent a lot of time thanking the Boulder police, FBI, and Thai police like it was an awards show. Press conferences like that are usually saved for after the conviction.
If they knew Karr was not the guy or if the evidence was shaky, why make such a big deal out of the press conference? Yes, she tried to lower the expectations with what she said, but the tone of the press conference gave a completely different message.
Update II: The AP reports that Karr will be held for charges in California.
Prosecutors abruptly dropped their case Monday against John Mark Karr in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, saying DNA tests failed to put him at the crime scene despite his insistence he strangled the 6-year-old beauty queen.
Just a week and a half after Karr’s arrest in Thailand was seen as a remarkable break in the sensational, decade-old case, prosecutors suggested in court papers that he was just a man with a twisted fascination with JonBenet who confessed to a crime he didn’t commit.
“Because his DNA does not match that found in the victim’s blood in her underwear, the people would not be able to establish that Mr. Karr committed this crime despite his repeated insistence that he did,” District Attorney Mary Lacy said in court papers.
The 41-year-old schoolteacher will be kept in jail in Boulder until he can be sent to Sonoma County, Calif., to face child pornography charges dating to 2001, authorities said. Earlier in the day, the sheriff’s department announced Karr had been released.
Lacy said Karr emerged as a suspect in April after he spent several years exchanging e-mails and later telephone calls with a Colorado professor in which he admitted responsibility for the slaying.
According to court papers, Karr told the professor he accidentally killed JonBenet during sex and that he tasted her blood after he injured her vaginally. But officials at the Denver crime lab conducted DNA tests last Friday on a cheek swab taken from Karr and failed to connect him to the crime.