A Superior Court judge could determine Thursday morning whether Elizabeth Johnson will be released from jail while she awaits sentencing on charges involving the disappearance of her son, Gabriel Johnson.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A Superior Court judge said the mother of a missing 8-month-old boy will remain in jail until her sentencing Dec. 7 and could face more jail time than the nearly three years she has already been in custody.
Judge Joseph Kreamer said during a status hearing Thursday morning that Elizabeth Johnson's three felony convictions on Oct. 18 make her non-bondable.
Johnson was convicted Oct. 18 of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of her son, Gabriel Johnson, who was 8 months old when he was last seen in San Antonio, TX, in December 2009.
Kreamer said Johnson's case "could be the worst case of custodial interference in the world" and that it was likely she could face more jail time. However, Kreamer said he was open to changing his mind and said that evidence and witnesses could sway his decision.
Kreamer was originally scheduled to set the sentencing date for Johnson at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, but her attorney Marc Victor filed paperwork last week requesting her release because he claims she is not a danger to the community.
On Thursday, Victor argued against the judge's decision, saying it was "not appropriate to say there is a reasonable probability of prison" because all the charges are eligible for probation.
He advised Johnson not to make any statements before her sentencing.
Johnson pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been jailed without bond since January 2010.
She changed her story since the ordeal began. She initially told the boy's father, Logan McQueary, that she killed her son and put his body in a dumpster, but later told authorities she gave the child away to a couple in San Antonio.
Prosecutors told jurors that Johnson was angry and determined to "get back" at McQueary. The couple had recently broken up and McQueary was granted joint custody.
Prosecutors said that Johnson wanted to give the child up for adoption, but when McQueary refused, Johnson took the child to Texas without McQueary's permission.
McQueary is scheduled to testify by phone at Johnson's sentencing.
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 Johnson kidnapped her son.
Victor admitted that his client was guilty of custodial interference, but said that Johnson had every right to leave the state with her son at the time that she did.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
READ: Baby Gabriel's father pleads guilty to theft (4/16/2012) Judge tosses evidence in 'Baby Gabriel' case (4/16/2012) Father of missing Arizona baby to testify (4/12/2012) 2 women about to faceMore>>
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-17 00:01:44 GMT
Rozenna Luna (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A mother has been taken into police custody after police say she tried to give away her 6-month-old daughter at a Phoenix gas station. Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said investigatorsMore >
Police said Rozenna Luna, 36, had been drinking and was on meth when she asked strangers if they wanted a "free child" as she attempted to give the baby girl away at a Phoenix gas station.More >
Tuesday, May 14 2013 8:25 PM EDT2013-05-15 00:25:14 GMT
Amy's Baking Company was featured on Kitchen Nightmares season finale, and let's just say things didn't go well. For the first time in the show's history it's host, Gordon Ramsay walked away. The showMore >
Scottsdale restaurant owners made a big splash on national television for being impossible to work with, and now it appears they've taken their bad attitudes to the internet. Or have they?More >
Friday, May 17 2013 1:49 PM EDT2013-05-17 17:49:10 GMT
Tony Phung (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Two men are in critical condition after they were stabbed during a fight between two other business partners at a Phoenix Vietnamese restaurant, police said. The fight broke out shortly before 11 a.m.More >
The fight broke out shortly before 11 a.m. at Tho 35 Vietnamese Noodle House at 3515 W. Northern Ave.More >