Johnson's lawyers and the prosecution set the table for the 12-person jury and three alternates.
Prosecutor Elisa Ramunno told jurors Johnson ran off to another state with the child because the baby's father, Logan McQueary, had broken up with her.
Ramunno said that the young mother had tried unsuccessfully to put her son up for adoption against his father's wishes.
Johnson wiped away tears when the prosecutor said Gabriel was part of his mother's game of retaliation.
"Gabriel Johnson was a pawn. He was a tool," Rumunno told the jury. "He was a piece in a game and the object of that game was to keep Gabriel Johnson from Logan McQueary. It was to retaliate against Logan McQueary for breaking up with her and her intent was to place him in fear for safety of his son."
Johnson's attorney, Marc Victor, said he won't dispute many facts and added that the case wasn't about whether jurors like his client.
"This case isn't about whether or not you like Elizabeth Johnson," Victor said. "It doesn't matter to me whether you like Elizabeth Johnson or not. My job is to do my best to get you to focus on the elements of the crimes charged."
Johnson is charged with kidnapping and custodial interference in the case of her missing son, who was 8 months old when last seen in December 2009.
Johnson's story has changed since the ordeal began.
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:59:38 GMT
Buckeye shooting leaves one dead
Buckeye police are looking for a suspect who shot a tow truck driver early Sunday afternoon and then fled. Officer Tamela Skaggs said the suspect was last seen heading west on MC85. She said the truckMore >
Witnesses said they heard somewhere between four to five gunshots and found a man lying on the side of the road in front of Don Lalo Auto Repair.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-03-09 19:04:53 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, also known as UAVs or drones) temporarily clearingMore >
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems. More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:04:05 GMT
Reported kidnapping in Phoenix
A woman was kidnapped at gunpoint Saturday evening, Phoenix police said. It happened near 67th Avenue and Coolidge. Officers said she was walking northbound on 67th Avenue when a car came up behind her. PoliceMore >
Police released a grainy video of what they said was a kidnapping on 67th Avenue near Coolidge. The video shows a woman being thrown into a white car Saturday afternoon. More >
A 45-year-old man is dead after a cab struck him in Scottsdale early Sunday morning, police said. The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said ScottsdaleMore >
The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said Scottsdale police Officer David Pubins.More >
Friday, February 28 2014 3:27 AM EST2014-02-28 08:27:54 GMT
On a rainy Monday afternoon, the buzz of air-powered tools rattled through the garage at CSC Lifts, Liners, and Accessories. The experienced hands of Darrell Carmena applied just the right pressure toMore >
A truck, the man of men, holds so many memories for a family. This fitting tribute is a chance to live on through the work, the sweat and the mud.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 4:09 PM EDT2014-03-09 20:09:25 GMT
Falled first responders honored
Three fallen Arizona law enforcement officers were honored Sunday during an annual memorial run and walk fundraiser in Phoenix. Fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs, Arizona Department of PublicMore >
Fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs, Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Tim Huffman and Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz were remembered by participants.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 4:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 20:56:22 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
One man was wounded and another was being questioned by police following a shooting Saturday afternoon at a nail salon in Mesa. There was a large police presence at Elite Nail Salon at Power Road andMore >
Police detectives said the shooter was a former employee who quit his job and had to stop by the salon to pick up some of his materials.More >
An early St. Patrick's Day celebration around the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus known as "Blarney Blowout" spun out of control Saturday as police officers in riot gear arrested more than 70...More >
An early St. Patrick's Day celebration around the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus known as "Blarney Blowout" spun out of control Saturday as police officers in riot gear arrested more than 70 people...More >