Suspect convicted in Gabriel Johnson disappearance

Tammi Smith, who tried to illegally adopt seven-month-old Gabriel Johnson who’s been missing two and a half years, has been convicted of forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference in his case. (This was a few days ago but I just caught it; like I said, I’m behind.) She lied on a court document about Gabriel’s paternity because she knew the baby’s father, Logan McQueary, would not agree to the adoption. Smith faces up to three and three-quarters years in prison.

The big fish, however, is Gabriel’s mother Elizabeth Johnson, who is the last person known to have seen him and who had repeatedly threatened to kill him. She confessed his murder to a police officer but I think it got thrown out of evidence. Elizabeth is awaiting trial for custodial interference, kidnapping and child abuse.

Missing boy’s would-be adoptive mom convicted
Tammi Smith convicted in Baby Gabriel case
Tammi Smith convicted on multiple counts related to Baby Gabriel case

Gabriel Johnson’s mom is incompetent again

I’ve written about Gabriel Johnson‘s case before. He has been missing since December 2009, when he was seven months old. He would now be two and a half, but he’s probably dead and the police have openly said they think his mother, Elizabeth, murdered him.

Elizabeth was supposed to stand trial for kidnapping, custodial interference and child abuse, but she’s just been ruled incompetent. Again. Last summer she was found incompetent and then three months later re-examined and determined to be competent again.

This time, four out of five mental health experts said she was too screwed-up to assist her defense. This article notes that out of those four, only three thought she might eventually get her competency restored with drugs and counseling. Of course that’s what everybody wants to happen (except, perhaps, Elizabeth herself, see below), but in the meantime of course the trial will be delayed.

From this article:

Judge Paul McMurdie also ruled that there was not clear and convincing evidence that she will never be mentally fit to stand trial. McMurdie ordered her back in treatment and back into the restoration process. He requested an update on her mental health in 60 days.

Dan Raynak, Johnson’s attorney, argued that his client has not told him or any member of his defense team one fact about the case despite months and months of trying.

Raynak told the court his more than two decades as an attorney convinces him Johnson will never be able to be restored so that she can aid in her defense.

The prosecutor, and Gabriel’s father, believe Elizabeth is just playing games with everyone and it’s not that she is unable to assist her defense but that she refuses to. Elizabeth’s grandfather thinks she’s bipolar, and from her behavior I’ve read about I wonder if she might have a borderline personality. Which is not to say that she couldn’t be both bipolar and borderline at the same time. There’s a great deal of co-morbidity in mental illness — that is, people who have one diagnosed mental disorder not infrequently have more than one.

The East Valley Tribune also has a good article about this (the Johnson case that is, not mental illness), with more details.

Another psych eval for Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson, mother of missing baby Gabriel, has been ordered to undergo yet another psychiatric evaluation to determine her competency to stand trial. She was previously declared incompetent last summer, treated for three months and then found to be competent. I haven’t heard anything about an official diagnosis, although her grandfather said he thought she was bipolar. Her behavior sounds very borderline personality to me, but I leave that up to professionals.

Who knows when she’ll go to trial. I think it was scheduled for August, but if she’s found incompetent again it might be years.

Interview with Gabriel Johnson’s dad

Gabriel Johnson‘s dad, Logan McQueary, who hasn’t said much to the press, has done an interview. (On video, text summary).

“It pisses me off to see her,” said McQueary, speaking of Gabriel’s mom Elizabeth, who is accused of kidnapping him and suspected of much more. “I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t know what to do so I don’t want to see her.”

Meanwhile, predictably, Elizabeth’s attorney wants the case dismissed.

Elizabeth Johnson’s trial set for August

Elizabeth Johnson, mother of missing baby Gabriel Johnson, will go to trial in August for kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference in his case. He was seven months old when he vanished from San Antonio, Texas on December 27, 2009.

Today is Gabriel’s second birthday. The police think Elizabeth probably killed him — she confessed to that on three different occasions, then recanted — but she hasn’t been charged with murder. Yet.