Karr's Family Selling Book, Movie Rights

Relatives of the alleged JonBenet killer hope to raise money for his defense

Relatives of accused JonBenet Ramsey killer John Mark Karr secured movie and book rights to the family’s story on Wednesday, and hope to use any money raised to hire a defense attorney for Karr and pay for college for his three teenage sons.

Karr’s father, Wexford Karr, and brother hired SilverCreek Entertainment president Larry Garrison to represent them in any media deals and to help them find a top lawyer to represent Karr, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, no money has changed hands. Garrison told the Los Angeles Times that Karr’s family believes Karr is innocent, despite his statements that he was with the 6-year-old JonBenet when she was killed in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996.

Meanwhile, Karr, 41, remains in L.A. County’s Twin Towers jail, where he has met with a psychiatrist twice and is on suicide watch. Since he arrived there Sunday night from Thailand, his mental state and physical safety have been monitored by sheriff’s deputies who look in on him every 15 minutes, the AP reports.

“Our goal is to keep him safe and secure,” Steve Whitmore, spokesperson for Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, told the Los Angeles Times. “We are watching him very carefully.”

At a court hearing Tuesday, Karr agreed to be sent to Colorado to face charges including first-degree murder, felony murder, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping and sexual assault on a child.

California and Colorado authorities would not say when Karr will be transferred.

Karr’s family has said Karr was with them and not in Colorado over Christmas 1996, when JonBenet was murdered.

Georgia attorney Gary Harris, who once represented Karr’s father and brother Nate, tells the AP that at the time, Karr was unemployed and “couldn’t afford to buy a MARTA (Atlantic public transportation) or bus ticket, much less plane fare to Colorado.”

For more on this story, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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