Woman sentenced to 13 years for kidnapping ‘Baby Brandon’ in San Jose

Yesenia Ramirez, the woman prosecutors said was the “mastermind” of the San Jose kidnapping last April, was sentenced on Monday to 13 years and four months in prison.

There will be updates.

Ramirez and her accomplice did not contest their kidnapping allegations.

Information from the previous story:

Ramirez faces up to 14 years in prison. But on Wednesday, her lawyer filed new court documents to try to cut or even eliminate her time behind bars by portraying the kidnapping suspect as the victim.

The images of the incident were compelling and incriminating as the video showed José Portillo carrying a covered baby carrier with a 3-month-old boy inside. The child is named “Baby Brandon” to protect his identity.

Video from the scene also shows the man picking up the child and getting into the car. He was later seen returning with what appeared to be an empty stroller.

After an extensive and highly publicized search, Brandon was located and Portillo, along with Ramirez, were arrested and charged with eight counts of kidnapping and conspiracy.

Ramirez turned out to be a friend of the child’s family and actually took Brandon and his grandmother shopping so Portillo could grab the child while the women unloaded groceries.

Text messages revealed that Ramirez had planned several previous attempts to kidnap Brandon.

As the sentencing date draws near, Ramirez’s attorney, Cody Salphen, filed documents on Wednesday that depict a graphic history of Ramirez’s abuse.

Salphen said that due to her no contest claim, Ramirez never had a full trial, so her psychological story was never shown.

“Our job is to present more reasons,” Salphen said. Why did she do it? What was going on in her life at that time? What were her motives?

The sentencing summary, filed on Wednesday, included page after page of Ramirez’s alleged history, including living in poverty in El Salvador, multiple instances of abuse, mostly by her stepfather, leading to hospitalization and psychiatric treatment, followed by rape and then domestic violence.

“The California Legislature has recognized that people often commit crimes because they themselves have been victims of crime,” Salfen said. “It’s really a vicious circle, which is the reality of our criminal justice system. The prey often becomes the predator.”

Salphen added that the Ramirez family, including her ex-husband and Brandon’s family, had relationships that are yet to be explored.

But on Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office sent NBC Bay Area its response, due two weeks before the hearing.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen claims that due to the egregious nature of the crime, which includes multiple kidnapping plans, his office recommends Ramirez 13 years and four months in prison.

A sentence is due next month for a woman who prosecutors ruled was the mastermind of a kidnapping in San Jose last April. Raj Mathai is talking to Robert Handa about this case.

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