Baby Gabriel suspects get into heated argument during taped phone call played in court

PHOENIX - A war of words were heard in court Tuesday between the only two suspects who have been arrested in connection with the baby Gabriel case.

Jurors heard a confrontation phone call as Elizabeth Johnson, Gabriel's mother, got into a heated argument with Tammi Smith, currently on trial.

"You're a nut," Johnson told Smith.

"Elizabeth, who's in jail? Who's in jail? Who gave their baby away? And now who's the nut," responded Smith.

During the call, the two went back and forth while defending themselves and attacking the other.

"Everything you've been saying and doing and throwing people under the bus and you've thrown me under the bus," Johnson told Smith.

"Elizabeth, you belong under the bus. You gave your baby away and you're not telling anyone," responded Smith.

Johnson then interrupted and yelled she gave Gabriel to Smith.

A Tempe police detective sat next to Johnson in jail and recorded the call made to Smith.

Police wanted to see if Smith would say anything to help investigators prove their case that Smith lied on a court document as part of a plan to try to adopt Gabriel without his father's permission.

"Everything you told me to do from the very beginning was illegal, lying about the paternity of the father, putting your cousin's name," Johnson told Smith.

"Okay, in my mind, that wasn't anything illegal. That was me helping you fill out your paperwork," replied Smith.

In the call, Smith maintained she only wanted to do what was best for Gabriel.

"We need your help in finding this baby. This baby needs to come home safely to his daddy," Smith told Johnson.

The call escalated when Smith implied Johnson would be sent to death row after Johnson claimed she killed her son and threw him in a trash dumpster.

"I can guarantee you, as baby murderer you're gonna be beat up and raped constantly because they're going to put you in general population. You're not able to be around the ugly people like that right now but guess what, if they find that baby dead, you will be," declared Smith.

At that point, the call ended because Johnson hung up on Smith.

Smith is scheduled to testify in her own defense as early as Wednesday.

Smith's husband, Jack, is expected to be the first witness for the defense and will be called to the stand on Wednesday.

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