'Confrontation phone call' in Tammi Smith trial

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by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 9 at 10:01 AM

PHOENIX -- North Scottsdale resident Tammi Smith broke down in tears Tuesday as prosecutors in her high-profile forgery and conspiracy case continued to hammer away at the woman they say broke the law in her obsessive pursuit to adopt an adorable little 8-month-old, blue-eyed boy named Gabriel Johnson.

Prosecutors played for jurors both video and audio recordings of interviews with Smith conducted in the days and weeks following the mysterious disappearance of Baby Gabriel in late 2009.

Among the recordings, and certainly the most dramatic, was a so-called "confrontation phone call" between Baby Gabriel's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, and Smith.

The call was made by Johnson to Smith under the guidance of Tempe police shortly after Johnson was locked up in a Maricopa County jail on charges that she kidnapped her child and then somehow got rid of him in San Antonio.

"You set this up," Johnson tells Smith on the recording, "and all I did was what you told me to do."

A clearly irritated Smith counters, "Elizabeth, I never told you to go to San Antonio."

At one point Johnson accuses Smith of throwing her "under a bus" to which Smith responds, "You belong under the bus."

At the end of the day prosecutors rested their case. Smith's defense team will begin presenting its case Wednesday morning with the first witness expected to be Tammi's husband, Jack Smith.

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