SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Two San Jose baby kidnappers displayed opposite emotions as they entered the same pleas in court Tuesday.
Tears streamed down the face of Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, 43, while she pleaded no contest to seven felony counts, including kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, and conspiracy. Her co-defendant, 27-year-old Jose Ramon Portillo, remained stoic while pleading no contest to the same charges.
A Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy handcuffed Ramirez to lead her out of the courtroom and refused to allow her to hug her adult daughter, who was sitting in the courtroom gallery. Ramirez then began bawling. Portillo did not appear to have any supporters present.
The unexpected, last-minute plea hearing was an emotional moment in an already-emotional and dramatic case. The kidnapping involved a love triangle, a 3-month-old infant who was stolen from his grandmother’s home, and a church with a history of performing exorcisms.
Ramirez now faces up to 14 years in prison for being the mastermind behind kidnapping Baby Brandon, and Portillo faces up to five years for joining her plot.
They agreed to enter pleas before a judge could even make her ruling based on this week’s preliminary hearing. KRON4’s previous article on the case can be read here.
Ramirez and Portillo agreed to plead no contest after prosecutors revealed a mountain of evidence against the duo, including a flurry of text messages sent before, during, and after the bizarre kidnapping, surveillance videos showing their whereabouts, and testimony from Baby Brandon’s mother and grandmother.