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A Shaking Story

Yes, testifying against Voss was part of the deal he made with the district attorney, which involved pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and a minor felony -- tampering with evidence -- that carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. But he felt it was his duty. "My life is most definitely ruined because of this," he said. "I felt I made a mistake and I would face it."

Voss attorney Ernest Marquez made no attempt to challenge Ramirez's testimony or impeach his credibility. He seemed chiefly interested in getting as much of it on the record as possible, with all its simmering contradictions. The standard of proof at a preliminary hearing is quite modest; as Alamosa County Court Judge Martin Gonzales noted at the end of the day, he was obliged to view the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution. He quickly bound the case over for trial.

No date has been set for Voss's trial, and the process may be a long one. Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court threw out a Pueblo man's statement in which he admitted shaking his baby daughter because of the circumstances under which the statement was obtained; Alejo's interview of Voss, which wasn't taped and didn't include any advisement of her rights, was conducted under eerily similar circumstances. If Marquez is successful in having her statement thrown out, then much of the case boils down to whom a jury will believe: Voss or Ramirez, the mother or the man with the shifting story.

Ramirez is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, January 5. That same day, Voss will be back in court to enter a plea of not guilty.

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