A Michigan judge refused to drop a $750 million defamation lawsuit against CBS and other defendants, brought about after a 2016 two-part documentary reportedly insinuated that Burke Ramsey, older brother of JonBenét Ramsey, killed her.
Boulder Daily Camera reports that Judge David Groner, with the Michigan 3rd Circuit Court District, provided CBS and additional defendants with a six-page ruling after the television network submitted a motion to drop Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit. The judge’s ruling denied the defendants’ request to drop Burke’s lawsuit, filed after the television station aired the 2016 documentary, The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey.
— Variety (@Variety) December 31, 2016
According to Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit, the popular documentary strongly insinuated that he was responsible for his little sister’s death.
“The gist of ‘The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey’ is that JonBenet’s brother, Burke Ramsey, killed his six-year-old sister,” the lawsuit read. “Burke Ramsey did not kill his sister and had no involvement in her brutal murder.”
Along with the CBS Corporation, Ramsey also named seven consultants and experts that appeared in the documentary and gave their individual theories and assessments. The defendants claimed they never once claimed Ramsey killed JonBenét, and that they provided a clear disclaimer at the beginning and the end of the documentary.
“The opinions and conclusions of the investigators who appear on this program about how it may have occurred represent just some of a number of possible scenarios.”
Groner, however, ruled that the theories provided in the docu-series could be misconstrued by viewers as facts.
“This Court does not find that the ‘disclaimer’ at the beginning and end of the program negate the docu-series potentially defamatory meaning.” Groner wrote.
In Oct., Burke’s father, John Ramsey, also filed a defamation lawsuit against CBS and the defendants listed in his son’s lawsuit.
JonBenét Ramsey was killed in her family’s Boulder, Colorado, home on Dec. 25- 26, 1996. The 6-year-old’s death became of the most notorious murder cases in U.S. history, resulting numerous films, documentaries, and shows about the incident.
Although several experts claimed that Burke had the opportunity and motive to kill his sister, he has never been considered a suspect by law enforcement. The case remains unsolved to this day.
[Feature Photo: Burke Ramsey/AP Photo/Ric Feld, File]