Tammi Smith trial: 'Desperate to have a baby'

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- There was some interesting testimony on Wednesday in the trial for Tammi Smith. She is the woman who wanted to adopt Baby Gabriel Johnson before he disappeared two years ago.

When Smith's former friend, Deeann Ayala took the stand, she said the two met at a doctors office and quickly became friends. She said Smith confided in her about having a baby through artificial insemination and even asked Ayala's husband to be a sperm donor.

"She said 'wouldn't it be nice if we had inseminated Sam's sperm into a surrogate and if the surrogate ended up having twins, we could each have one.'" Ayala said.

Ayala said when she turned down Smith's offer, Smith turned to adoption.

Ayala said Smith would reportedly approach pregnant women, asking if they wanted to give up their baby for adoption. One of those women was Elizabeth Johnson, pregnant and considering adoption.

"She had exchanged information with the girl and told her if she wanted to adopt her baby out to call her," said Ayala.

Six months later, Ayala said Smith called her with shocking news - she was holding Baby Gabriel in her arms at the grocery store and planned on adopting him.

"They were in the grocery store. I could hear him. She was holding him," said Ayala.

She said Smith wanted to move to Tennessee and hurry along the adoption process so Baby Gabriel's biological father, Logan McQueary, could not get custody. However, a judge did grant McQueary custody of his son.

Shortly after, Elizabeth Johnson is accused of leaving Arizona with the baby boy. Then Johnson called Smith claiming she had killed him.

"She was still hoping that he was found and he would be brought back to Arizona and they would get custody of him," said Ayala.

On Wednesday, defense attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial. Smith's lawyer said the testimony was sensational and Smith could not get a fair trial. The judge disagreed and denied the motion.