Baby Gabriel Mom Elizabeth Johnson Skips Court Again. Must be Present at Next Court Appearance -- Game On, Joe Arpaio
Elizabeth Johnson, mother of missing baby Gabriel Johnson, has a choice to make: actually show up in court for her next hearing under her own free will, or allow Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jailhouse goon squad to use "any means necessary" to get her there.
In the past, Johnson's had some trouble getting herself from a Maricopa County jail to the courthouse for hearings regarding the kidnapping charges she faces stemming from her son's 2009 disappearance (she's now skipped at least three hearings), and today was no exception.
Johnson skipped yet another hearing this morning, court sources tell New Times, and it's apparently irked the judge handling the case...again.
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. Utah Jazz
TicketsWed., Oct. 5, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks
TicketsFri., Oct. 7, 7:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 8, 7:00pm
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. Dallas Mavericks
TicketsFri., Oct. 14, 7:00pm
According to court sources, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie told attorneys for the kinda-hot/borderline-nuts-o mother of the missing baby that she "has to be present for a status conference on May 2" -- which is exactly what he told her when she skipped court -- for the second time -- last month.
Last March, Johnson, who's charged with abuse and kidnapping in the December 2009 disappearance of the baby, refused to attend a hearing for motions, including the designation of counsel, which cannot be ruled on without the defendant in court.
Court spokeswoman Karen Arra told New Times at the time that Johnson opted to stay in jail rather than attend the hearing. The next week, however, Johnson didn't have that option.
Judge Timothy Ryan, who was then hearing the case, rescheduled the hearing, and gave the Maricopa County sheriff's deputies responsible for transporting Johnson carte blanche when it came to making sure her butt was in the courtroom -- and it was.
According to Arra, Judge Ryan told deputies to use "any means necessary" to get Johnson to court -- and that's apparently the case yet again.
Johnson's next court date is May 2. We have a feeling she'll be there -- if not, it's apparently game on for Arpaio's boys in beige.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.