Baby Gabriel Case Begins With Testimony About a Volatile Mother Who Did Not Want Her Child

“Tammi and Jack Smith never met Logan McQueary before they began barraging him with phone calls and e-mails and offered him $1,000 to sign over his parental rights to his son, Baby Gabriel, McQueary testified on the first day of Tammi Smith’s trial.

Tammi, the woman who wanted to adopt Gabriel, and her husband, Jack, told McQueary that if he signed the papers, Gabriel would return safely to Arizona, McQueary testified.

Tammi, 40, of Scottsdale (above) is charged with forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference with Gabriel’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson.

Johnson, 25, of Tempe, is held without bond on kidnapping, child abuse, custodial interference and conspiracy to commit custodial interference. She awaits a September court date.

The Smiths tried to lure McQueary into signing with an offer for an open adoption, in which McQueary could visit his son on their landed property and enjoy horse riding and all-terrain vehicles, he said.

Elizabeth Johnson Extradited and Charged With Kidnapping; FBI Tracks Leads in Nashville
(Gabriel and Elizabeth Johnson)
But McQueary was insistent: He wanted to raise his son, and after his girlfriend, Johnson, fled across state lines two days before he was to have custody of his son, he filed and received full custody.”

(Logan, Gabriel’s father)

“He [Logan] and Johnson began a relationship in 2007, he said. She was frequently angry with him, throwing things at him, once cutting his arms and shoulders by hurling plates and an ashtray, he said.

He worked full time and put Gabriel in day care because Johnson didn’t want to care for him, he said. He was the parent who did most of the feeding, playing and holding of Gabriel, he testified. Twice after Gabriel was born Johnson “destroyed” apartments, breaking windows, sliding doors and mirrors, ripping apart the baby’s crib and baby swing, he said. Each time, they reconciled.

Even after he filed for custody, he changed his request to joint custody after another make-up session with Johnson, he said.

But on Dec. 27, 2009, the woman who said she never wanted Gabriel, texted and phoned McQueary, saying, “I killed him. You made me do it,” he said. Later, Elizabeth denied that she had killed Gabriel.

The audiotapes and texts will be presented to the 10-member jury. McQueary’s cross-examination continues today.

The trial opened Tuesday morning with attorneys describing Tammi Smith alternately as an obsessed, desperate and scheming woman who would stop at nothing to adopt Baby Gabriel, and as a kindhearted mother and business owner victimized by authorities.”

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2 Responses to Baby Gabriel Case Begins With Testimony About a Volatile Mother Who Did Not Want Her Child

  1. Anonymous says:

    From what Logan described about Elizabeth’s behavior, she sounds like a time bomb that is ready to explode.
    I wonder if Elizabeth was sexually abused in childhood?
    Too bad that little Gabriel had to receive the brunt of Elizabeth’s rage.

  2. So sad.
    That poor baby.

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