Elizabeth Johnson absent in court, phone calls played - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Elizabeth Johnson absent in court, phone calls played

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Tempe Police Detective Patricia Ramierez Tempe Police Detective Patricia Ramierez

There were some major developments today in the trial of baby Gabriel's mom, Elizabeth Johnson.

The most noticeable development was Elizabeth Johnson's absence from court. She asked to be excused for afternoon testimony. Her attorney told the judge Elizabeth was concerned the testimony would be too emotional.

"Let the record reflect the presence of the jury panel and that the defendant is not present," says Judge Joseph Kreamer.

The judge presiding over Elizabeth Johnson's case explained her absence to the jury, instructing them not to read into it.

"You are not to consider or speculate about the defendant's absence from the courtroom. It is not evidence and you must not consider it in deciding if the state has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Tempe Police Detective Patricia Ramierez took the stand shortly after answering questions about the investigation from the state.

Detective Ramierez explained what she knew about Elizabeth Johnson's whereabouts leading up to the day of her arrest.

She also described a phone call she helped Johnson make to Tammy Smith, a woman who wanted to adopt baby Gabriel. That conversation was played for the jury

Johnson: "I really can't I can't hide all of this any more, your involvement in this and all the plans you made and you are secretly denying all this."

Smith: "Wait wait what plans did I make, what are you talking about?"

Johnson: "You offered to hide me in Tennessee."

The state also played two tape recorded conversations between Elizabeth Johnson and her boyfriend, Gabriel's father, Logan McQueary.

In one of those conversations, she is heard telling him she killed Gabriel and placed him in a dumpster.

She later told him she gave the baby away.

The state has rested. The trial will resume on October 16.

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