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GABRIEL JOHNSON & LOGAN MCQUEARY - ELIZABETH JOHNSON - TAMMI SMITH - PRE-TRIAL & TRIAL - CONVICTIONS & SENTENCINGS

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Feb 5 11 8:51 PM

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2011 - February 1 - Judge's ruling.
 
Judge Paul McMurdie 
Daniel Raynak (new attorney for Elizabeth Johnson)
does not have permission to interview Deputy Maricopa County Attorney
Angela Andrews for now, but can revisit the issue once the San Antonio
detective is deposed.

Attorney Raynak believes he should be allowed to interview the prosecutor in the
case.

Elizabeth Johnson is not present at the hearing.


2011 - May 9 - Elizabeth Johnson is slated to appear in court.









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#1 [url]

Feb 5 11 8:56 PM

Elizabeth Johnson wrote a letter to Judge Paul McMurdie. It was placed on file
with the court.

KPHO (pdf format) Johnson's letter.

Also placed on file:
"A letter from an E. Joy Marshall (Estrella jail religious advisor who says she gives
spiritual counseling to Johnson)

“Elizabeth has been completely cooperative and responsive. She has manifested
willingness to learn and to grow and has consistently displayed an outstanding
 attitude and commendable effort . . . “

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#2 [url]

Mar 2 11 8:43 PM

                                   MOTION DENIED
 
2011 - February 14 - Judge Paul McMurdie denies Tammi Smith's request for a new
                                Grand Jury.
 
 
"The case against Tammi Smith, the woman accused interfering with the investigation
 into the disappearance of Gabriel Johnson, is moving forward. On Monday morning,
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie denied a motion by Smith's
attorney's to have her case sent back to the grand jury.
 

Smith is charged with conspiracy to commit custodial interference and fraud in the case
of missing Tempe baby Gabriel Johnson. Smith's attorneys had argued that there wasn't
enough evidence to charge her in the first place, and last week, they asked the judge to
send the case back to them."
 
 
"Tammi Peters Smith, a Scottsdale woman who wanted to adopt Baby Gabriel and
 is charged in his disappearance, was denied a request for a new grand jury, officials
announced Monday. A second grand jury would have heard the state’s evidence
against Smith and considered whether it warrants charges. Smith is released on bond
on charges of forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference. The Honorable
Paul McMurdie of Maricopa County Superior Court denied Smith’s request to send her
case back to grand jury after considering the pros and cons Friday.

Her attorney, Daniel Raynak of Phoenix, is waiting word on whether a Texas judge
will authorize a subpoena for a key witness in Johnson’s motion to dismiss case.
Raynak may have to argue the subpoena request in Texas. Raynak wants to question
a San Antonio detective that the defense believes tainted the case by conducting an
unauthorized interview with Johnson .

The motion to dismiss is currently scheduled for a March 1 hearing.

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#3 [url]

Mar 2 11 8:45 PM

                                   DEFENSE FILES MOTION TO DISMISS

2011 - February 16 -
 
"An attorney representing Elizabeth Johnson, the mother of missing baby, Gabriel
Johnson, said Tuesday he plans to ask a Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court
 judge to dismiss her case during a hearing slated to take place in less than two weeks.

Johnson’s lawyer Daniel Raynak told the East Valley Tribune he plans to argue on
 Mar. 1 that his client’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated when San Antonio police
detective, Jesus Salame, questioned Johnson without her legal counsel present."

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#4 [url]

Apr 18 11 2:27 PM

2011 - April 12 -  Elizabeth Johnson a no-show in court for hearing.

 Judge Paul McMurdie (Maricopa County Superior Court) to Johnson's attorneys-
You need to tell her that she's going to be here one way or another
(May 2) because I'm going to discuss setting a trial date and I want
her here for that. I will send a deputy to her jail cell to remove her if
she does not show up next time."

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#5 [url]

May 18 11 5:05 PM

TRIAL DATES:

 
 
2011 - August 8  - Elizabeth Johnson
 
2011 - September - Tammi Smith
 
 
Logan McQueary (baby Gabriel's father)
"It really hurts."
 
"I've thought about it that way that I may never see him again and
we may never know what happened to him and I don't know what
I would do. I still have to think about that fact that I don't know if I'll
ever give him a funeral or if he's out there. I didn't even get to
celebrate his first birthday with him,"
 
"That's what is frustrating too. Pretty much everything is dead in
the water. We have not found anything new for a long time."
 
"I'll be in the courtroom, I hope to hear the truth about Gabriel."
 
Frank McQueary (Logan's father & former Phoenix Policeman)
"You always hold out that no matter the circumstances until there is
absolute truth that something really bad has happened."

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#6 [url]

Apr 14 12 4:21 PM

2010 - APRIL 10 - TAMMI SMITH TRIAL - JURY SELECTED - OPENING STATEMENTS TO
                           BEGIN ON APRIL 17, 2012

AZ CENTRAL

"Jury selection began Monday and opening arguments are scheduled for next Tuesday in
 the case of Smith, 40, who is charged with forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference in her alleged role in Gabriel's unknown fate.

She is accused of helping the baby's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, 25, of Tempe, who fled
to San Antonio with Gabriel three days after the baby's father was awarded custody."
 

 More at link

 
ELIZABETH JOHNSON -
2012 - April 16 - STATUS HEARING - arguments are scheduled on her refusal to
                         cooperate with a court liaison, according to records.
 
2012 - SEPTEMBER - TRIAL FOR ELIZABETH JOHNSON SCHEDULED
 
 

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#7 [url]

May 5 12 8:04 PM

2012 - May 3 -

HLN TV
"Baby Gabriel’s mother told police that Tammi Smith orchestrated an illegal adoption
of her baby. Jurors in the Smith trial watched a video of that conversation Wednesday.
In the video, Elizabeth Johnson says Smith arranged to meet in a San Antonio park,
and that when she met them, they introduced themselves as “Tammi’s friends.” Johnson
sounds emotional when she tells police that she strapped the child into the couple’s car
seat and said goodbye.

Also on Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from an undercover detective who helped
 wiretap Smith’s phone during the investigation. Several recorded phone calls were played
in court. In one of the calls, Smith is heard laughing about the fact that the name of her
cousin, Craig Cherry, is on a paternity document for Gabriel. That document is the basis
for the forgery charge, but in one of those recorded calls, Smith tells Cherry several times
that Johnson is the one who wrote his name on the document."

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#8 [url]

May 5 12 8:15 PM

AZFAMILY.com

 Logan McQueary, Gabriel's father, was the first witness called against Smith at trial.
McQueary described his relationship with Gabriel's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, as
on-again off-again, and at times violent. 

McQueary told the court he has always partly blamed Tammi Smith for his son's
disappearance. "I told her, 'I think you had a part in doing this and helping Elizabeth,'
 McQueary testified.

More at link
 
 
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
"To the defendant, Gabriel Johnson was a thing to be desired — a prize, an object.
She wanted a baby and she would go to any length to get one," prosecutor Elisa
Ramunno  told jurors. Johnson signed over temporary guardianship of Gabriel to the
Smiths for about 10 days before she picked him up and left Arizona.  Ramunno said
that Smith's initial plan with Johnson was to make life so difficult for McQueary that
he would eventually get fed up and agree to give the baby to Smith and her husband,
Jack. When that wasn't working, Ramunno told jurors that Smith and Johnson planned
to have Smith take Gabriel out of the state in an effort force McQueary to sign adoption 
paperwork. That also did not work.


Defense attorney Anne Phillips said Smith wasn't obsessed with adopting Gabriel
but that she wanted him so her other adoptive child could have a younger sibling.
She said that after Johnson took Gabriel to Texas, Smith did nothing but try her
best to bring Gabriel home safely and that all she got in return was "character
assassination" by police and FBI agents intent on bringing charges against her.
Phillips also said Smith has a constitutional right not to testify during her trial, but
she has decided to take the stand. "She wants to look you in the eye and she wants
to answer your questions directly," Phillips said. "We are confident you will find she
did nothing wrong. All she wanted was to bring Gabriel home."

More at link


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#9 [url]

May 5 12 8:29 PM

AZFAMILY.com (Video at link - Tammi Smith in courtroom)

"First on the witness stand Thursday morning was Tammi Smith's cousin, Craig Cherry.
According to prosecutors it was Cherry's name that Smith and Baby Gabriel's mother,
Elizabeth Johnson, fraudulently put on a court document indicating that he may be
Gabriel's father. But under questioning by prosecutor Elisa Ramunno, Cherry told
jurors that he had never met Elizabeth Johnson and was unaware that his name had
been placed on the document until notified by the media and Tempe police."

"Also damaging to Smith was the afternoon testimony of Tempe police officer Gregory
Duarte. Under questioning by prosecutor Ann Phillips, Duarte indicated that while he
and other Tempe investigators were at the Smith's North Scottsdale home in late
December 2009 looking for Elizabeth Johnson and her baby, after the pair had fled to
Texas, Tammi Smith was actually exchanging text messages with Johnson --
unbeknownst to the police officers inside the Smith's home."


AZFAMILY.com
"Jurors in the case of a would-be adoptive mother of an Arizona baby missing for more
than two years heard an audio recording of the boy's biological mother saying that she
suffocated him and he turned blue."

More at link
 
 
AZFAMILY.com  Video at link
"Tammi Smith, 38, wanted to adopt Gabriel, the Tempe baby who has been missing
for nearly a year. As a way to do that, Smith allegedly was willing to adopt Gabriel's
24-year-old mother, Elizabeth Johnson. There are also allegations by the state that
Smith and Johnson discussed using child-support payments to get Gabriel's father,
Logan McQueary, to give up his parental rights."

More at link
 

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#10 [url]

May 27 12 11:19 AM

HLNTV

"Detective Patricia Ramirez testified in Smith’s trial Monday, telling the jury that she
repeatedly implored Smith to tell her everything she knew about the Gabriel's whereabouts.
When he disappeared in December 2009, Gabriel Johnson was seven months old and he still hasn’t been found."

More at link
 
 
ABC15 PHOENIX
Audio at link
 

"At one point, lead detective Patricia Ramirez seemed to catch Smith in a lie when

Ramirez asked Smith if she ever forged a court document in an attempt to adopt

Gabriel Johnson, the baby boy who disappeared in December of 2009. “I didn't sign

any paperwork and I didn't file any paperwork,” Smith told Ramirez during the interview.

But Ramirez then showed Smith a court document which caused Smith to change her

story. “Oh, okay, so that is my writing. Yes, right here that is mine,” Smith told Ramirez.

Smith has been charged with forgery for writing her cousin's name on a paternity document

in an attempt to get custody of baby Gabriel. During the interview played in court, Smith

admitted she knowingly lied on the paperwork. “I made a huge mistake,” said Smith.

Smith then asked if she could get in trouble for it and Ramirez responded, “l believe that

there will be a criminal consequence to it.”

More at link


 

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#11 [url]

May 27 12 11:23 AM

2012 - May 17 -  GUILTY VERDICTS - Tammi Smith Found Guilty of forgery and conspiracy to
                                                         interfere with custody.

PRE-SENTENCING HEARING - JUNE 2012
 
SENTENCING - JULY 6, 2012
 

CNN JUSTICE

"She faces a pre-sentencing hearing in June to determine whether she will serve prison
 time, and formal sentencing July 6. Smith maintains her innocence and will appeal
Thursday's verdict, her lawyer, Benjamin Taylor, told HLN's "Prime News."

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#12 [url]

May 27 12 11:25 AM

KPHO - CBS 5 PHOENIX 


"A Maricopa County judge refused on Friday to lower the $1 million bond for the mother

of missing baby Gabriel.  Elizabeth Johnson remains in solitary confinement in the Estrella
jail. Johnson's attorney also filed a motion to have the charge of child abuse dropped, but a
decision on that is still weeks away. "Whatever happened to Gabriel, that may or may not
have amounted to child abuse, happened in Texas," Scott Campbell, Johnson's attorney,
said. "There's a jurisdictional issue that obviously in Arizona court doesn't have jurisdiction
to something (that) happened in Texas unless it has a connection to Arizona."


More at link


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#14 [url]

Aug 3 12 8:26 PM

 20120 - May 17 -  The jury found Tammi Smith guilty of forgery and conspiracy to commit
                              custodial interference. The jury found that there were aggravating
                              circumstances in the case, which means the jury believes the crimes
                               had an added degree of severity.


CNN - Tammi Smith sentenced.

"Tammi Smith has been sentenced to the following 
COUNT 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Custodial Interference - 30 days in jail - 3 year term of
                  supervised probation
COUNT 2 - Forgery - 30 days in jail - 3 year terms of supervised probation

Smith will being serving the first of her two 30 day jail terms.

"The other 30-day term is deferred. Once the first jail term is complete, she will beginning
serving her probation. At some point, the judge will evaluate her progress and decide
whether she should serve the remainder, deferred 30-day jail term for the second conviction.
Her probation terms will run concurrently."

Smith will also participate in a work-release program while she's in jail. That will allow her to work Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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#15 [url]

Aug 3 12 8:27 PM

CNN

Baby Gabriel's mother Elizabeth Johnson will go to trial in September for child abuse
and conspiracy to commit custodial interference.

Her trial will be live on In Session on truTV.

Follow developments in that case on Twitter #babygabriel

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#16 [url]

Aug 3 12 8:29 PM

Elizabeth Johnson - Child abuse charge has been dropped.

AZ CENTRAL

"Johnson's next hearing is Aug. 6."

 She still faces charges of kidnapping, custodial interference and conspiracy to commit
custodial interference. In 2011, Johnson was found incompetent to understand proceedings
and assist in her defense, and therefore unfit to stand trial. She has since been found to be
competent and is expected to be tried in September."


 

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#17 [url]

Nov 24 12 6:34 PM

ABC NEWS - Closing arguments

"Prosecutors say his mother used him as a pawn against his biological father because she
 was angry at him and wanted to hurt him in the aftermath of their relationship."

"In his closing statements, Johnson's attorney, Marc Victor, said he disagrees that what
Johnson did could be characterized as kidnapping. Victor said he did not call witnesses
 because the state did not present a convincing case that Johnson was guilty of kidnapping.
He instead said the lawsuit was an example of "an ugly custody interference case."


"Johnson did not take the stand during the trial. She cannot be tried for murder in Arizona since Gabriel was last seen in Texas."


CONVICTION
 
AZ CENTRAL
 
Elizabeth Johnson, 26, will be sentenced at a later date on the charges of unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference and conspiracy to commit custodial interference. She would have faced an additional 24 years had she been convicted of kidnapping.

CNN

"Elizabeth Johnson -- whose 8-month-old baby, Gabriel, disappeared in 2009
after she allegedly took him to Texas -- was found guilty Thursday of unlawful
 imprisonment and custodial interference. Johnson also was originally charged
with kidnapping, but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on that charge.

Instead, the jury found her guilty with aggravating circumstances on the lesser

charge of imprisonment and two custodial interference charges. Her next

appearance in court will be November 1 when the judge will set a sentencing date.

She has already served nearly three years in jail, having been taken into custody

shortly after Gabriel disappeared.

 

 

SENTENCING DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2012

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#18 [url]

Nov 24 12 9:20 PM


SENTENCING SCHEDULED: DECEMBER 7, 2012

KPHO

A Superior Court judge said the mother of a missing 8-month-old boy will remain in jail until her sentencing Dec. 7 and could face more jail time than the nearly three years she has already been in custody. Judge Joseph Kreamer said during a status hearing Thursday morning that Elizabeth Johnson's three felony convictions on Oct. 18 make her non-bondable. Kreamer said Johnson's case "could be the worst case of custodial interference in the world" and that it was likely she could face more jail time. However, Kreamer said he was open to changing his mind and said that evidence and witnesses could sway his decision."

 

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#19 [url]

Jan 9 13 7:56 PM

ABC 15

"A judge has sentenced Elizabeth Johnson, the mother of missing "Baby Gabriel", to 5.25 years in prison followed years of probation, minus time served. The judge said just after 5 p.m. Friday that Johnson has already served 1,062 days, so she will serve the remaining 2 1/3 years in prison.
After prison, she will serve 4 years of probation. Johnson's attorney said, she could get released in 1.25 years if she has good behavior."

 MORE AT LINK

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