Recordings of baby Gabriel's mother played in court

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by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 19 at 10:31 AM

PHOENIX --  It was a startling and emotional day in the criminal prosecution of Scottsdale resident Tammi Smith. Smith is the 40-year old woman accused of playing a role in the 2009 disappearance of 8-month-old Gabriel Johnson.

Day two of the high-profile trial started Wednesday morning with jurors hearing audio recordings of recorded telephone calls between the child's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, and the father, Logan McQuery.

The recordings were recorded after Johnson had absconded with the baby to the State of Texas in late December 2009.

During the conversations, Johnson told McQuery that she had killed the baby.

"Where are you and where is Gabriel?" the father asks. "I killed him this morning," Johnson responds. "I suffocated him and put him in a paper bag and I put it in a trash can."

Johnson would later tell investigators that she gave the baby to an unidentified couple in a San Antonio park. 

The baby has not been seen for nearly two-and-a-half years.

On Wednesday afternoon, more audio recordings were played for jurors. Those recordings were phone conversations between defendant Tammi Smith, her husband Jack and Baby Gabriel's father Logan McQuery. 

On the recordings, the Smiths encourage -- McQuery says "pressured" -- him to give his infant son up to them in an adoption.

Tammi Smith is charged with forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference.  

The trial is expected to last about five weeks.

The still missing child's 25-year-old mother, Elizabeth Johnson, is slated to stand trial on kidnapping and child abuse charges later this year.

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