Elizabeth Johnson was found guilty of custodial interference and conspiracy in the December 2009 disappearance of baby Gabriel Johnson.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The jury has found Elizabeth Johnson guilty of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of her son Gabriel.
Jurors couldn't reach a verdict on the most serious charge, kidnapping.
"We are obviously thrilled with what the jury did today. It was really the primary effort of our case was to go after the kidnapping charge, that was the focus of exactly what we were doing," Elizabeth Johnson's attorney Marc Victor told CBS 5 News. "Our entire defense was based on the kidnapping charge. And the jury saw it our way."
They deliberated for about a day and a half.
Elizabeth Johnson is the Valley mother who ran off to San Antonio, TX, with her 8-month-old son Gabriel Johnson in December 2009. He has not been seen since.
Attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments on Tuesday and the jury began deliberation on Wednesday morning.
Prosecutors told jurors that Elizabeth Johnson was angry and determined to "get back" at the child's father, Logan McQueary. The couple had recently broken up and McQueary was granted joint custody.
Prosecutors said that Elizabeth Johnson wanted to give the child up for adoption, but when McQueary refused, Elizabeth Johnson took the child to Texas without McQueary's permission.
"She wants to get back at Logan, and she is upset, and she uses the one thing that would hurt Logan more than anything," prosecutor Angela Andrews said.
After the verdict was read, McQueary's father spoke with CBS 5 News.
"If you think about it from the jury's perspective, let's not anybody think bad about them. They found her guilty of everything. They just didn't find her guilty of what, to us, was the most important thing, because it gave her the most prison time."
Victor did not present any evidence during the trial or call any witnesses.
He told the jury that prosecutors failed to prove their case that Elizabeth Johnson kidnapped her son.
Victor admitted that his client was guilty of custodial interference, but said that Elizabeth Johnson had every right to leave the state with her son at the time that she did.
"This is not a case about whether or not you like Elizabeth Johnson," said Victor. "This was not a kidnapping."
Judge Joseph Kreamer on Tuesday denied a defense motion to drop the kidnapping charge against Elizabeth Johnson.
Victor said in his motion that Arizona does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute Elizabeth Johnson for kidnapping. [Read full motion (PDF)]
Victor's motion states Elizabeth Johnson legally traveled to Texas with her son and every element the state presented in the kidnapping case would have occurred in Texas, outside the jurisdiction of Arizona.
Sunday, December 8 2013 4:11 PM EST2013-12-08 21:11:20 GMT
Manchester police are on scene of a possible homicide on Pine Street. Few details are being released, but witnesses reported a large police presence in the area shortly before 10 p.m.According to police,More >
Manchester police are on scene of a possible homicide on Pine Street. Few details are being released, but witnesses reported a large police presence in the area shortly before 10 p.m.More >
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:01 PM EST2013-12-08 18:01:52 GMT
Detectives in New Haven are investigating after they say a man was found shot and later died Saturday. 23-year-old Shamar Willet was found with a gunshot wound to his chest. The victim was taken to YaleMore >
Detectives in New Haven are investigating after they say a man was found shot and later died Saturday.More >
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:23 PM EST2013-12-08 01:23:35 GMT
State police said Saturday they arrested a Massachusetts man on kidnapping and drug charges stemming from a tip they received from the Human Trafficking Hotline. According to police, the hotline receivedMore >
State police said Saturday they arrested a Massachusetts man on kidnapping and drug charges stemming from a tip they received from the Human Trafficking Hotline. More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:29 AM EST2013-12-08 12:29:01 GMT
Stamford police are asking for the public's help in locating a missing mother and her 1-year-old son. Police said 16-year-old Ashley Exantus was last seen at an area mall on Friday with her son ZhaerMore >
Stamford police have canceled an alert for a missing mother and her 1-year-old son.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:23 AM EST2013-12-08 16:23:53 GMT
A car crashed into a building Sunday morning in East Hartford.It happened on Main street near Burnside avenue.The car hit the A-AAABLE Auto Insurance business.No word at this time of any injuries or furtherMore >
A car crashed into a building Sunday morning in East Hartford.More >
Saturday, December 7 2013 6:26 PM EST2013-12-07 23:26:35 GMT
Photos courtesy of Scott Guo
Several fire crews are on scene of a large fire in Pomfret at a local church. Fire crews were called out the First Congregational Church on Church Street around 12:30 p.m. Saturday to find flames shootingMore >
Several fire crews are on scene of a large fire in Pomfret at a local church.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 8:20 AM EST2013-12-08 13:20:07 GMT
State police are investigating a tractor trailer crash on I-84 East in Willington early Sunday morning. A tractor trailer skidded off the road on exit 70.Police are not releasing many details at this point.More >
State police are investigating a tractor trailer crash on I-84 East in Willington early Sunday morning.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:20 AM EST2013-12-08 12:20:35 GMT
Police in Newtown say two people are seriously injured after a fire broke out at a home early Sunday morning.They say two people were trapped inside. Officers were able to help the two people escape. BothMore >
Police in Newtown say two people are seriously injured after a fire broke out at a home early Sunday morning.More >