By Corey Williams, Associated Press
DETROIT — The older brother of JonBenet Ramsey filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against a Michigan forensic pathologist who told a Detroit-area media outlet that Burke Ramsey killed his 6-year-old sister.
The complaint alleges that Dr. Werner Spitz said in a Sept. 19 interview that 9-year-old Burke bludgeoned JonBenet to death in 1996.
“Spitz made this accusation without ever examining JonBenet’s body, without viewing the crime scene, and without consulting with the pathologist who performed the autopsy on JonBenet,” the complaint filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit says.
JonBenet was found dead in the basement of the family’s Boulder, Colorado, home. In 2008, her parents and brother were cleared by prosecutors who said DNA on the girl’s underwear didn’t match anyone in the family.
The lawsuit accuses Spitz of being a publicity seeker “with a history of interjecting himself in high profile cases.”
Burke Ramsey, now 29 and living in the Charlevoix area in northern Michigan, is seeking a jury trial and at least $150 million in damages.
His attorneys said they demanded a retraction the day after the interview, but Spitz refused.
A woman who answered the phone Thursday at a number listed for Spitz hung up after an Associated Press reporter identified himself.
Boulder police said last month that the investigation into JonBenet’s slaying remains open.
Chief Greg Testa said investigators have collected 1,500 pieces of evidence, including the analysis of 200 DNA samples, traveled to 18 states to interview about 1,000 people and have received, reviewed or investigated more than 20,000 tips, letters or emails.
CBS is airing a six-part television docuseries “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey” in which investigators are teaming up with new experts to re-examine the evidence using today’s technology and forensics. The first episode aired Sept. 18.
Burke Ramsey was interviewed last month on the TV show “Dr. Phil.”