Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:03 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:03:44 GMT
It was a scary sight in St. Petersburg Florida Monday Afternoon. A boat hit a wake, tossing two men into Tampa Bay, and then turned in a tight circle without an operator for more than hour until it ranMore >>
It was a scary sight in St. Petersburg Florida Monday Afternoon.
A boat hit a wake, tossing two men into Tampa Bay, and then turned in a tight circle without an operator for more than hour until it ran out of gas.More >>
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Elizabeth Johnson, the mother of missing baby Gabriel Johnson, was sentenced to 5 1/4 years in the Department of Correction in a hearing punctuated by Johnson's admission that she deserved the maximum penalty, and the emotional pleas from the family of the baby's father that she receive the harshest sentence possible.
Judge Joseph Kreamer issued the sentence after a long afternoon of testimony. Kreamer said she would be given credit for the 1,062 days she has already served in jail, meaning she will spend about 2 1/4 years in prison. She was also given four years of probation upon her release.
Judge Kreamer also said Johnson will have to get mental health counseling as part of her sentence and that she not be around or have custody of any minor children.
Kreamer said Johnson's troubled upbringing and lack of a criminal record were considered in his decision.
Kreamer said that while he knew Johnson was hoping to avoid further jail time, "You are not going to walk out of this courtroom a free woman today."
Johnson remained for the most part emotionless, finally breaking down during some testimony and offering a sometimes tearful statement to the court, the first time Johnson has been heard from during her trial.
Prosecutors gave Johnson one last chance to tell the court the "actual physical whereabouts" of Gabriel Johnson in exchange for probation, but Johnson was either unable or unwilling to say.
Elizabeth Johnson was convicted Oct. 18 of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of her son, Gabriel Johnson, who was 8 months old when he was last seen in San Antonio, TX, in December 2009. She claimed she gave the child to a couple in San Antonio.
"I know I was wrong. Regardless of my side or story at the end of the day Gabriel is still missing and it's my fault," Elizabeth Johnson said. "I would convict myself. I do deserve the maximum. I do."
Still, she remained adamant that her side of the story was never truly heard during the trial and that she was not vengeful or vindictive as painted by the prosecution.
Logan McQueary, Gabriel's father, testified by phone at Johnson's sentencing.
"Although Elizabeth may be sorry for what she's done, it still doesn't change what she did," McQueary said. "I'm not the same person I used to be."
He said she should be held accountable and punished and should be given the maximum sentence possible.
Johnson has been jailed without bond since January 2010 and unlike during her trial, appeared in her jail clothing at Friday's sentencing.
She changed her story since the ordeal began. She initially told the boy's father, Logan McQueary, that she killed her son and put his body in a dumpster, but later told authorities she gave the child away to a couple in San Antonio.
Prosecutors told jurors that Johnson was angry and determined to "get back" at McQueary. The couple had broken up and McQueary was granted joint custody.
Prosecutors said that Johnson wanted to give the child up for adoption, but when McQueary refused, Johnson took the child to Texas without McQueary's permission.
"It wasn't like that," Elizabeth Johnson said Friday. "It wasn't about Logan. It was about Gabriel."
Johnson's attorney Marc Victor did not present any evidence during the trial or call any witnesses.
He told the jury that prosecutors failed to prove their case that Johnson kidnapped her son.
Victor admitted that his client was guilty of custodial interference, but said that Johnson had every right to leave the state with her son at the time that she did.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-06-18 20:20:32 GMT
An 11 year old Columbus girl wanted to do something special to support our troops fighting overseas, so she wrote a letter to a soldier in Afghanistan.More >>
An 11 year old Columbus girl wanted to do something special to support our troops fighting overseas, so she wrote a letter to a soldier in Afghanistan. On Father's Day, she found out just how much that simple gesture meant to the sergeant who received it.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:54 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:54:56 GMT
32 year old Demetria Porter was charged with murder and first degree cruelty to a child in just the last hour, after a baby she was keeping died. An autopsy performed on Ja'Kobian Davis today at theMore >>
32 year old Demetria Porter was charged with murder and first degree cruelty to a child in just the last hour, after a baby she was keeping died.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:12 AM EDT2013-06-19 10:12:08 GMT
The Alabama Department of Education has just released a list of 78 "failing" schools. This is based on new criteria by the Alabama Accountability Act, a controversial school choice law recently approved by More >>
The Alabama Department of Education has just released a list of 78 "failing" schools.
This is based on new criteria by the Alabama Accountability Act, a controversial school choice law recently approved by legislators.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:54 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:54:06 GMT
At a 10:00 a.m. news conference this morning the Alabama Department of Education announced the list of failing schools in the state under the Alabama Accountability Act.Tommy Bice: Accountability Act hasMore >>
The Alabama Department of Education held a news conference Tuesday morning to release the long-awaited "failing schools" list under the state's new Alabama Accountability Act. A total of 78 schools in the state are listed as failing under the education accountability legislation.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:35 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:35:49 GMT
A dog battling cancer managed to hang on long enough to see her owner return from a deployment overseas. According to Jennifer Ralston's YouTube channel, Kermie, an 11-year-old beagle-lab-chow mix, wasMore >>
Kermie, an 11-year-old beagle-lab-chow mix, was diagnosed with oral melanoma just a month after her owner, Eric, was deployed overseas.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>