Recording: Mom doesn’t care if baby Gabriel is alive or dead
Elizabeth Johnson told reporters she doesn’t care if her baby is alive or dead.
Day six of the Elizabeth Johnson trial for kidnapping and custodial interference of the still missing baby Gabriel concluded with an audio recording of a phone conversation between Johnson and a room full of people including her grandfather, Tammi Smith and a local reporter.
In the recording Johnson revealed her story of the private and anonymous adoption in San Antonio. She said she gave Gabriel to a couple she recently met in a park, knew for only a few days, had no way of locating, and only knew the wife’s first name was Sheryl. When pressed on whether that plan seemed like a rational thing to do Johnson said that she thought it was completely normal. She said that she believed in a private adoption a birth mother isn’t supposed to know the names of the adoptive parents.
The complete phone conversation was filled with acrimony towards Gabriel’s father Logan McQueary. Johnson said that McQueary ruined her life and pushed her to run away. She said she felt it was better to give Gabriel to a private family she didn’t know than to let McQueary ruin Gabriel’s life as well. However, Johnson admitted that she regrets giving Gabriel away, saying that she was “an emotional wreck” and made a “hasty decision.”
Ultimately, Johnson revealed her full plan of sorts. She told everyone that after giving up Gabriel to the couple in San Antonio she “dumped” the car her grandfather lent her, took a bus to Florida, got a full time job under a new name and planned to start a new life without Gabriel and away from McQueary.
In the recording a reporter asked Johnson if she even cared whether her son was alive or dead, and Johnson said she didn’t care one way or the other. However, she did tell Tammi Smith that she believed Gabriel was alive and safe.
The prosecution also introduced into evidence text messages, emails and Myspace posts from Johnson, McQueary and Tammi Smith. In the courtroom Johnson could be seen wiping away tears as her messages to McQueary were read aloud. In one message Johnson told McQueary that she didn’t even know if he was the father and that she slept with several other guys. In his response McQueary said that he had always been faithful to Johnson, that hearing about her having sex with other people brought him to tears, that her behavior was “messed up” and that Gabriel was his son no matter what the DNA tests say.
Earlier in the day the prosecution called FBI Special Agent Hector Morales to the stand to testify about his investigation of Gabriel’s disappearance in San Antonio, Texas. He said he visited the hotel Johnson stayed in and where the anonymous couple allegedly picked up Gabriel, but he was unable to find any witness or surveillance video that confirmed the couple was there. He did find surveillance video at a local Ross Department store of Johnson purchasing a backpack and at a nearby liquor store of Johnson buying a bottle of liquor.
The prosecution also called to the stand Luis Chavez, an employee at the Tornado Bus Company, who testified that Johnson bought a ticket from San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale under the name Elizabeth Jones and that she boarded the bus alone. In a lighter moment, he said he remembered Johnson because she was a “Anglo” in a predominantly Hispanic bus station and his grandson had pointed her out because she was attractive. Defense counsel also agreed with the witness’ appraisal of Johnson’s good looks.
The trial resumes Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., although there have been late starts most days of the trial.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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