Krystal Voss. Photo courtesy of Westworld.

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Continuing the trend in courts recently, another victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a mom in Colorado, had her conviction tossed out and the judge ordered a new trial.

The reason is because the defense never brought up scientific evidence challenging SBS, and that signs of SBS do not guarantee guilt.

This trend by judges all across the U.S. is causing groups like the American Bar Association to train attorneys on how to fight SBS convictions. See:

Attorneys Being Trained to Fight Bogus Child Abuse Charges used in Medical Kidnappings

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Opens the Legal Door to Retry All Shaken Baby Syndrome Convictions

This is one case where law and the courts are bringing to the light the truth that SBS is bogus science, and trumping the power of doctors who can give authority to Child Protective Services to remove a child from a home for “abuse” based simply on examining x-rays of an injury.

As we have previously reported here on, such is the power of doctors to remove children from their homes, that a new Pediatric sub-specialty was developed in 2009 called “Child Abuse Specialist.” The sole purpose of these doctors is to remove children from their homes, and their job depends on it. See:

Are New Pediatric “Child Abuse Specialists” Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?

Child Abuse Pediatricians: An “Ethically Bankrupt” Profession that Destroys Families

These specialists often recommend children be removed from homes based on x-rays, and never even talk to the parents, the child, or the family pediatrician who regularly sees the family. If the injury is severe enough, criminal charges will be filed against the parents, and convictions typically have been based almost solely on the testimony of these Child Abuse Specialists.

Judges around the country, however, are waking up to the fact that there is contradictory evidence in all of these cases, and if that evidence is not present in the conviction of a parent or care-giver, in most cases the conviction will be overturned. And most of the time, the district attorney will not even bother to pursue starting a new case.

Krystal Voss’s “Shaken Baby” Conviction Finally Tossed

by Alan Prendergast 


An Alamosa judge has ordered a new trial in the case of Krystal Voss, who was convicted in 2004 of child abuse in the death of her nineteen-month-old son and sentenced to twenty years in prison. The reversal is another setback for advocates of “shaken baby syndrome,” a diagnosis that’s been used in court to prosecute hundreds of caregivers for abuse over the past three decades but has been attacked by skeptics as junk science.

In a 139-page opinion dated August 7, Alamosa District Court Judge Pattie Swift ruled that Voss’s conviction should be thrown out because her attorneys at trial failed to summon any medical experts to challenge the prosecution’s claim that Kyran Gaston-Voss’s death was the result of a violent shaking. The decision comes after new testimony by nationally recognized pediatric specialists that the toddler’s injuries, including a devastating brain injury, could have been caused by an accidental fall.

On January 31, 2003, Voss showed up in an Alamosa hospital emergency room with Kyran, who was limp and unresponsive. She explained that earlier that afternoon she’d left Kyran in the care of a friend visiting from Denver, Patrick Ramirez, while she went to work at a local health-food store. About an hour after arriving at work, she’d gotten a phone call from Ramirez, telling her to come home because something was wrong with Kyran.

Ramirez told her he’d been playing outside with the boy on his shoulders. He’d stumbled. Kyran fell, and the boy might have hit his head on the ground. Ramirez fell on top of him. Kyran started hollering, then seemed dizzy and unable to stand.

The emergency-room doctor noted bruises on the child’s abdomen and signs of an acute subdural hematoma — a bleeding inside the skull. Kyran was soon flown to the intensive-care unit at Children’s Hospital in Denver, while the investigation into how he suffered such a severe head injury lurched into overdrive. After being assured by the child-abuse team at Children’s that the head trauma was more likely a case of shaking than a fall, one police investigator accused Ramirez of making up his story in order to protect Voss, with whom he’d had a sexual relationship; the investigator also obtained a “confession” from a sleep-deprived Voss that she might have briefly shaken Kyran in frustration the night before she left him with Ramirez.

At trial, the prosecution’s medical expert asserted that the fatal injuries were consistent with a violent shaking. The jury took only six hours to deliver its verdict: guilty of knowing and reckless child abuse resulting in death.

Yet the basic premises behind shaken-baby prosecutions — for example, that baby-shaking produces a unique constellation of symptoms, distinct from a short fall — have been under attack for some time, and were even back when Voss went to trial. Dr. Robert Bux, the coroner who conducted the autopsy on Kyran, told Westword in 2003 that he didn’t believe in shaken-baby syndrome and found it “difficult to swallow the concept.” Yet the defense never called him as a witness to refute the prosecution’s medical expert.

Voss, [has] already served thirteen years of her now-vacated twenty-year sentence.

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