Tempe mom of 'Baby Gabriel' breaks down, leaves courtroom in tears - East Valley Tribune: ABC15

Tempe mom of 'Baby Gabriel' breaks down, leaves courtroom in tears

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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:44 pm

Elizabeth Johnson temporarily left the courtroom in tears after a dramatic day in the courtroom on Tuesday.

The trial judge excused the jury before Johnson walked out of court but her loud sobs unexpectedly interrupted the testimony of a witness.

Johnson broke down after Deann Ayala told the jury about how Johnson and her friend, Tammi Smith, forged court documents as part of a plan to put Johnson’s son, Gabriel, up for adoption without the baby’s father being involved.

The judge took a short break before Johnson returned to the courtroom with her eyes red and swollen.

Gabriel’s grandfather, Frank McQueary, also testified on Tuesday about how Johnson kept Gabriel away from his father, Logan, even though Logan wanted to be involved in his son’s life.

“He would change his diapers, change his clothes. He would feed him, give him a bath,” said Frank.

Frank said his son was proud to be a father who looked forward to spending the holiday’s with his son.

“Was this his first Christmas,” asked prosecutor, Angela Andrews.

“It was,” replied Frank.

“Did you or Logan take him to see Santa Claus,” asked Andrews.

“We didn't get the chance to,” responded Frank.

Prosecutors also questioned Alisha Shumway, a former investigator for Child Protective Services.

After CPS received a complaint, Shumway was assigned to look into the allegations.

Shumway testified when she went out to Johnson’s home, Johnson told her that she planned to give Gabriel up for adoption.

“She was very calm and collected throughout it, did not appear to be grieving the loss of her 7-month-old son that she had informed me she was giving up for adoption,” said Shumway.

It was an adoption Gabriel’s father knew nothing about.

“She had informed me that he completely abandoned them and that she could proceed just based on that,” testified Shumway.

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