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Incriminating Statements Can't be Heard in Baby Gabriel Trial

On Monday, a judge ruled that self-incriminating statements made by Elizabeth Johnson regarding the disappearance of her 8-month-old son, Gabriel, could not be entered into evidence in Johnson’s upcoming trial, reports.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie stated that Johnson’s constitutional rights were violated when a Texas detective interviewed her in a Phoenix jail without the knowledge of her attorneys. Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse, kidnapping, and custodial interference stemming from the 2009 disappearance of her son.

In the statement, Johnson reportedly confesses to killing her son and dumping his body in a trash bin in Texas. As a result of the ruling, however, jurors will never get to hear the statement.

In another incident, Johnson allegedly admitted to the boy’s father, Logan McQueary, that she had killed the boy, reports. In a recorded conversation with McQueary, McQueary asked Johnson, “You did not hurt Gabriel.” To which Johnson reportedly replied, “Yes I did. I suffocated him.” Since the time of the recording, however, Johnson has allegedly changed her story, claiming that she gave Gabriel to a couple she met in San Antonio, Texas.

Under Arizona law, child abuse is broadly defined as the “infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily function or disfigurement…caused by acts or omissions of individuals having care and custody of child.” A person commits custodial interference if he “takes, entices or keeps from lawful custody any child…who is entrusted to the custody of another person.”

Elizabeth Johnson has not yet been charged with the murder of her son, Gabriel Johnson. She is currently in jail, awaiting trial for the child abuse, kidnapping, and custodial interference charges.

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