Supremes Won't Reinstate Suit Against Cops, Questioning of Journos in Colo. Murder

By: (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to reinstate a lawsuit by the parents and husband of a murdered Colorado woman who claim authorities bungled the investigation.

Without comment, justices let stand a lower court ruling that also rebuffed attempts by the parents and husband of Buffy Rice Donohue to question journalists who covered the investigation.

In the Donohue case, her parents and husband say reporters for The Associated Press and The Daily Sentinel newspaper of Grand Junction have information critical to their lawsuit.

They claim that Montrose police violated their constitutional rights by lying about them to reporters after disputes arose over the way the case was handled.

The 18-year-old Donohue was reported missing on Nov. 21, 1993. Her body was found May 24, 1995, in southwest Colorado. She had been bound and gagged, and had suffered a severe blow to the head.

The lawsuit filed by Donohue's husband, Mason, and her parents, Walt and Bonnie Rice, charged police failed to check several tips and didn't process evidence.

They also say police gave the reporters false information that violated their privacy, including that Donohue and her father were involved in drugs.

A federal court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2002, saying the evidence didn't support the claims, and threw out subpoenas against the AP and Sentinel reporters.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision last September.

The murder remains unsolved.


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