ATLANTA - For the first time in over two years, John and Patsy Ramsey are scheduled to meet Monday with investigators to discuss the unsolved slaying of their daughter, JonBenet.
The couple, who authorities say are still under suspicion in the 6-year-old's 1996 slaying, last met with police in June 1998. They have rejected all other proposed meetings over the terms of the interviews, including all attempts to interview them separately - until now.
The Ramseys are scheduled to answer questions Monday in Atlanta in separate sessions with a seven-member investigative team led by Boulder, Colo., police Chief Mark Beckner, their attorney, L. Lin Wood said.
Patsy Ramsey will be interviewed first and then John, as Boulder police requested, Wood said Sunday.
There is no time limit on the interviews, which will be videotaped and transcribed by a court reporter at Wood's office. Wood said the interviews could take about two days.
''John and Patsy agreed to each and every condition imposed by the police department, and we imposed no conditions ourselves,'' Wood said.
However, the Ramseys will terminate the interviews immediately if they are ''attacked, abused or treated unfairly,'' Wood said. Otherwise, they will help with any ''legitimate investigative effort,'' he said.
Wood said the Ramseys agreed to the interview in hopes of getting police to move past a theory that they could have played a role in their daughter's death. ''John and Patsy realize they need the Boulder Police Department to find the killer of their daughter,'' Wood said.
JonBenet was found strangled and beaten in the basement of her family's Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996. No suspect has ever been named, and the Ramseys deny any involvement.
A grand jury convened in 1998 to investigate JonBenet's death but didn't return an indictment.
Wood, the Ramseys' Atlanta-based attorney, said he advised the couple not to meet with police because he was concerned about ''the potential for innocent people to be caught up in a web of an overzealous prosecutor and unobjective or less than objective police officials.''
''I think it would be safe to say there's probably no lawyer who would recommend they participate in this kind of interrogation,'' Wood said.
Wood will attend the interview along with an investigator the Ramseys hired to work on the case. The couple and their son, Burke, moved from Boulder to Atlanta after JonBenet's death.
Beckner declined to comment on the Ramsey interview.
While the interview may not conclusively establish the Ramseys' innocence, the couple may help their image by signaling to the public that the investigation remains open, said University of Georgia criminal law professor Ron Carlson.
''The willingness of John and Patsy to sit for interrogation, which they are not required to do, does impress many people as conduct which is inconsistent with guilt,'' he said.