Maricopa County Attorney reacts to Elizabeth Johnson verdict

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery is weighing in on Thursday’s verdict in the Elizabeth Johnson case.

Montgomery released a statement on Friday saying that while Johnson was able to avoid the most serious charge, she was still convicted of multiple felonies.

“As I told the community when we embarked on the prosecution of Elizabeth Johnson, this would not be a ‘Casey Anthony’ trial. Due to the hard work of prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, Elizabeth Johnson is a convicted felon on three different counts, two as charged. While the jury, in the exercise of their role in the criminal justice system, found her guilty of unlawful imprisonment instead of kidnapping, she was still held accountable for her acts,” said Montgomery.

Johnson’s young child, Gabriel, still has yet to be located. Montgomery said the case will never be completely resolved if Johnson doesn’t tell authorities what happened to her son.

“It is still up to the defendant, as it has been all along, to tell us where Gabriel is. Until we know where Gabriel is, a complete resolution of this case, with the prayerful hope of his safe return, will escape us,” added Montgomery.

Johnson’s child was just 8 months old when she fled Arizona at the end of 2009 and took him to Texas.

According to investigators, Johnson and Gabriel’s father, Logan McQueary, had been fighting about whether to put their child up for adoption.

Authorities said Johnson called McQueary after arriving in Texas and claimed to have killed their son and placed him in a dumpster in San Antonio. She later changed her story and said she gave Gabriel to a San Antonio couple.

Gabriel has not been seen since December 2009.

On Thursday, Johnson was found guilty of unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference, and conspiracy to commit custodial interference.

Johnson has a status conference set for Nov. 1, at which time a sentencing date will be set.