SANTA ROSA, Calif. - One-time JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr rejected a plea deal offer from prosecutors that would have freed him on probation in exchange for a guilty plea on child pornography charges, his lawyer said Thursday.
"My client has maintained his innocence throughout these proceedings, and he is not going to plead guilty to a crime that he did not commit," Karr's attorney, Robert Amparan, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "We have no intention of accepting that offer."
The deal, presented Tuesday, would have waived three of the five misdemeanor child porn possession charges against Karr if he pleaded guilty to the two remaining ones. He would get credit for time served, would be placed on probation for three years and would be required to register as a sex offender.
Karr, 41, remained in Sonoma County jail Thursday on $200,000 bail. His trial date was set for Oct. 2.
The plea deal offer came the same day that Sonoma County authorities admitted they lost Karr's computer, seized in 2001, that allegedly held the five illicit images. Sheriff's officials said it likely was accidentally thrown out when the department moved to a new building in 2002.
"They say they have a mirror image. I haven't been provided with a mirror image," Amparan said.
Assistant District Attorney Larry Scoufos has denied that the missing computer was the impetus for offering Karr the plea deal. He did not return calls for comment Thursday.
Authorities insisted that the missing computer would not jeopardize their case against Karr because the entire hard drive was copied and the child porn images were printed out.
One legal expert agreed that the print-outs could be enough to convict him.
"Some detective will swear that they saw these images on John Mark Karr's seized computer and printed them out," said Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor. "It simply becomes a matter of whether you can trust that police officer. Most people trust police officers."
Karr, who worked as a schoolteacher in Petaluma and Napa in 2001, first made headlines when he was arrested last month after making phone calls and writing e-mails suggesting he killed JonBenet, a six-year-old beauty queen, in her Boulder, Colo., home in 1996.
He was returned to the U.S. from Thailand, but the Ramsey case quickly collapsed after DNA failed to connect him to the crime.
What a fucking psycho. Confess to something you didn't do, but not to something you DID do. And keep him outa prison, WTF???