Charges Dropped Against Ex-JonBenet Ramsey Murder Suspect John Mark Karr

A judge agreed Friday to dismiss charges stemming from a domestic dispute against former JonBenet Ramsey suspect John Mark Karr, if Karr gets counseling.

Fulton County Magistrate Judge Stephanie Davis said she would dismiss the misdemeanor charges of battery and obstruction of a 911 call if the 42-year-old Karr gets 24 weeks of domestic violence counseling and has no further violent contact with his father and girlfriend, the alleged victims. He is to appear in court again on Sept. 7.

Davis also dismissed a charge of simple battery against Karr's father, 86-year-old Wexford Karr.

The Karrs and the younger Karr's girlfriend, 22-year-old Brooke Simmons, hugged after the court appearance, and John Mark Karr and Simmons held hands. They spoke with reporters outside the courthouse, saying the charges had resulted from a family squabble.

"I do not admit anything physical happened," the younger Karr said, adding he would continue living with his father. "I love my Dad."

"He's not a violent man, I'm not a victim," Simmons said. "It's because of his notoriety only."

Sandy Springs police said officers received a 911 call on July 6 from Karr's father's house about an argument. But the younger Karr told reporters neighbors had called 911 after hearing loud talking — adding his father is hard of hearing.

He said it's been difficult for him to have a normal life during the past year because he gets "harassed" by law enforcement for things like sitting on a park bench in his upscale neighborhood. He said sometimes people think his girlfriend is in her teens and call police.

Karr was arrested last summer in Thailand after making bizarre, detailed confessions in the death of the 6-year-old beauty contestant, marking a sudden turn in the decade-old Ramsey killing in Boulder, Colo.

But authorities freed the sometime teacher obsessed with the little girl's slaying after he was brought back to the U.S. They found no corroboration for his claims or even any solid indication he'd been near Boulder at the time of the killing.