Elizabeth Johnson Baby Gabriel Case

The Elizabeth Johnson trial and the Baby Gabriel mystery

Attorney Marc J. Victor of the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm represented Elizabeth Johnson, an Arizona woman charged in the disappearance of her infant son Gabriel Johnson in what became a National high-profile case, with the trial being Nationally televised for months.

Johnson pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, custodial interference, and conspiracy to commit custodial inference in the December 2009 disappearance of her then-8-month-old son, Gabriel. She faced up to 27 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Defense attorney Marc Victor told jurors they probably were angry at Johnson but shouldn’t be swayed by their emotions. “This is not a case about whether or not you like Elizabeth Johnson,” said Victor, who called no witnesses on behalf of his client at the trial. Victor conceded the jury likely would convict Johnson on the custodial interference charge because she violated a judge’s custody order. But he said prosecutors failed to prove their case on the other two charges.

Victor later described Johnson as an unsophisticated single mother who was under a lot of stress, was in a volatile relationship with the boy’s father, and was being manipulated by a woman who wanted to adopt Gabriel.

“Does she wish she had a redo?” “Absolutely, Victor said.”

Authorities say Johnson told the boy’s father Logan McQueary that she killed Gabriel and dumped him in a trash bin in San Antonio, Texas, the city where the child was last seen. But authorities say Johnson later recanted and told police she gave the baby to a couple at a San Antonio Park.

She had been fighting with McQueary about whether to put Gabriel up for adoption. Johnson signed over temporary guardianship to a Scottsdale couple for about 10 days before she picked up the boy and left Arizona. McQueary opposed putting the baby up for adoption. The would-be adoptive mother from Scottsdale, Tammi Peters Smith, was accused of lying on a court document about the child’s possible paternity in an effort to keep Gabriel from his father. Smith was convicted of forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference.

Victor presented no defense witnesses at trial. He had said the jury likely would convict Johnson on the custodial interference charge because she violated a judge’s custody order. But he argued prosecutors otherwise failed to prove his client’s guilt.

Jury finds Elizabeth Johnson not guilty on the kidnapping charge

The jury found Elizabeth Johnson guilty of unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference, and conspiracy to commit custodial interference in the case of her son’s disappearance but was found not guilty of kidnapping, the most serious charge against her in the case. Victor said he would try to seek probation for his 26-year-old client, noting she already has spent nearly three years in jail. “That took the wind substantially out of the case,” Victor said of the lesser conviction.

Victor was the fourth attorney in this case and the only one that Elizabeth Johnson felt like she could trust. In the end, Mr. Victor’s handling of the case kept Johnson from spending decades in prison on a kidnapping conviction.





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zahrah A.
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Attorneys, Brittney, Emma and Vicky took good care of me and were very professional. They were able... to get the case against me dismissed and I appreciate their help. Good job attorneys!read more
wayne
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