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JonBenet’s Brother Sues Pathologist for $150M

(CN) — JonBenet Ramsey's brother filed a $150 million defamation lawsuit against a forensic pathologist who accused him of killing his sister 20 years ago.

Burke Ramsey sued Werner U. Spitz in Wayne County, Mich., Circuit Court on Thursday.

Spitz and other investigators appeared on CBS's two-part special called "The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey," which aired last month.

The TV show was one of several telecasts to mark 20 years since the unsolved slaying of the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant from Colorado.

One day after the CBS special premiered, Spitz talked about the case on CBS Detroit radio and, according to Ramsey, "explicitly and falsely stated that Burke Ramsey killed his sister."

Specifically, Spitz allegedly said: "If you really, really use your free time to think about this case, you cannot come to a different conclusion ... It's the boy who did it, whether he was jealous, or mentally unfit or something...I don't know the why, I'm not a psychiatrist, but what I am sure about is what I know about him, that is what happened here."

These statements also appeared in an article on the CBS Detroit website, along with the assertions that JonBenet "was killed by her brother during some late-night confrontation" and that Ramsey had smeared feces in her bedroom and a bathroom, according to his lawsuit.

"Defendant Spitz harbored personal ill will and spite against the Ramsey family, including Burke Ramsey, because he believes the Ramsey family shut him out of the investigation — thereby frustrating his pursuit of self-promotion," the complaint states.

On the CBS TV show, Spitz theorized that JonBenet was hit in the head with a large flashlight and her parents staged her being bound, duct-taped and strangled, according to reports.

Ramsey alleges that Spitz "has a disturbing history of making false statements related to the brutal murder of young girls."

According to Thursday's lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas found that Spitz's affidavit "lack[ed] credibility" when he served as the expert for the now-convicted killer of a 2-year-old girl.

In another case involving the rape and murder of a baby girl, Spitz "declared that this poor infant died an accidental death, instead of recognizing that she was asphyxiated by the hands of her tormentor," Ramsey claims.

Ramsey added that Spitz accused him of JonBenet's murder "without ever examining JonBenet's body, without viewing the crime scene, and without consulting the pathologist who performed the autopsy of JonBenet."

He says police in Boulder, Colo., confirmed in 1998 that he was not even a "possible" suspect in the sexual assault, beating and asphyxiation of JonBenet with a garrote, or strangulation device.

Ramsey noted that he lost another sister, Beth, to a car accident in 1991 and his mother, Patsy, in 2006.

"This complaint seeks to hold defendant Spitz fully accountable for his vicious, unsupported attacks on this young man, which have needlessly and selfishly added to the already heavy burdens he endures while trying to lead as normal a life as possible under the circumstances," the lawsuit states.

According to Ramsey, he never sought publicity surrounding JonBenet's murder, but agreed to appear on Dr. Phil McGraw's TV show because he thought the CBS special would implicate him.

Ramsey added that former Boulder District Attorney Alexander Hunter reaffirmed in 2000 that he did not kill his sister.

A Georgia federal court studied the case in connection with an accusation that Patsy had committed the crime. The judge concluded that "the weight of the evidence is more consistent with a theory that an intruder murdered JonBenet."

In the Wayne County complaint, Ramsey stated that he would be filing another lawsuit in Los Angeles in connection with the CBS show.

Ramsey seeks $50 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages from Spitz.

Attorney John Lesko of Plymouth, Mich., is representing Ramsey, along with Atlanta firm L. Lin Wood PC.

According to Deadline Detroit, the 89-year-old Spitz worked on the JFK and Martin Luther King assassination cases.

Spitz did not respond Monday to an email request for comment made to the Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he is a professor.

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