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.
Monday, December 9 2013 9:16 AM EST2013-12-09 14:16:23 GMT
A Sonic restaurant in Belton is coming under fire for something they put on its welcome sign about the Kansas City Chiefs game. Someone snapped a photo of the sign outside the restaurant that read "KCMore >
A Sonic restaurant in Belton apologized and quickly removed a sign urging the Kansas City Chiefs to "scalp the Redskins."More >
Monday, December 9 2013 11:33 PM EST2013-12-10 04:33:06 GMT
Police are investigating after a man's girlfriend reporting him missing on Saturday. Gianfranco Villagomez-Saldana's girlfriend called Lawrence police about 7 p.m. when she hadn't heard from him. PoliceMore >
Authorities in Lawrence believe a body found in the backyard of a home is that of a missing University of Kansas student.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 11:02 PM EST2013-12-10 04:02:55 GMT
Fire forced a Shawnee family out of their home early Sunday morning.One of the residents was still awake and noticed smoke coming from the basement and was able to get his family out of the burning homeMore >
Officials say at least five house fires in the Kansas City metro area over the weekend were caused by problems with fireplaces.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 8:16 AM EST2013-12-09 13:16:18 GMT
Police are using money from drug busts to buy equipment that could save lives during a mass shooting. The new equipment includes gun cabinets that could hold rifles and ammunition inside some ShawneeMore >
Overland Park police are using money from drug busts to buy equipment that could save lives during a mass shooting.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 12:40 PM EST2013-12-09 17:40:40 GMT
Police continue their investigation of a fatal accident involving a pedestrian Sunday night. It happened about 10 p.m. on southbound Interstate 49 near East 140th Street. A man who was walking on theMore >
Police continue to investigate a fatality accident involving a pedestrian that was struck and killed Sunday evening.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 9:09 AM EST2013-12-09 14:09:53 GMT
Icy roads are causing a number of accidents Monday morning around the metro.Southbound 71 Highway was shut down Monday morning due to icy road conditions. Several vehicles went off the road shortly beforeMore >
Icy roads are causing a number of accidents Monday morning around the metro.More >