by Kendall Fisher | Fri., Dec. 2, 2016 5:14 PM
On Wednesday, Dr. Werner Spitz—the investigator in JonBenét Ramsey's death who strongly suggested her brother Burke Ramsey had killed her—filed to dismiss the $150 million defamation lawsuit Burke filed in October. Now, the 29-year-old is speaking out.
Burke's lawyers released the following statement to E! News, "The motion to dismiss by Defendant Spitz is a standard media defense tactic. A correct interpretation of First Amendment law requires a denial of the motion. The United States Supreme Court has made it very clear that the First Amendment does not provide blanket protection to all statements characterized as opinion."
The statement continues, "Spitz's statements conveyed that Burke Ramsey killed his sister. That accusation is capable of being objectively proven to be false. Further, Spitz's accusation was based on undisclosed facts and more importantly, false and distorted facts. Simply stated, Spitz's accusation is legally viewed as a statement of fact, not a protected opinion."
Thus, Burke's attorneys conclude, "While Spitz's motion may accomplish its intended purpose of creating delay, it will not prevent Spitz from ultimately being held legally accountable for his outrageous and false accusation against Burke – a false, heinous accusation Spitz made for his own profit and publicity."
Burke filed the lawsuit in October claiming that Spitz made "unsupported, false, and sensational statements and accusations" about his involvement in his sister's 1996 death (when he was 9-years-old) during CBS' docu-series The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey as well as a radio interview with CBS Detroit.
E! News has obtained the documents in which Spitz filed a motion for the lawsuit to be dismissed with prejudice, defending his Constitutional right to hypothesize and express his opinions about the case.
In the documents, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP write on behalf of their client, "The First Amendment protects this speech on a matter of immense public concern" just as the many other "people [who] have offered various and contradictory hypotheses and theories about what happened."
The lawyers continued in the documents, "After twenty years, the death of JonBenét Ramsey remains one of our nation's most widely discussed and debated unresolved crimes. The First Amendment gives Dr. Spitz the 'breathing room' to express his point of view about it, just as it grants to every other American citizen with a hypothesis."
Finally, they concluded, "If Burke Ramsey wants to challenge Dr. Spitz's opinion, his remedy is to express his own position—as he has done, to a national audience. But, under the First Amendment, his remedy does not lie in a libel claim. This case should be promptly dismissed."
Peteski Productions/CBS Television Distribution
Burke addressed the speculation that he was responsible for JonBenét's death during an interview with Dr. Phil in September.
"I can tell you I was very emotional with the attorneys. I would just randomly cry out of nowhere," he recalled. "I guess it's a combination of sitting in there with this weird guy that I never talked to before and asking me all of these personal questions, it's a combination of that and just kind of...at some point you have to move on. I'm not saying I moved on then. It might have been kind of the other end. I didn't really get it. You have to stop crying at some point, I guess."
He added, "I know people think I did it; that my parents did it. I know that we were suspects. I want to honor her memory by doing this interview. I don't want anyone to forget."
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