Before she was sentenced, Johnson told the judge that she deserved the maximum sentence. She received a sentence that was about half of the 9.5 years she could have received.
Johnson was found guilty in October. Judge Paul McMurdie also sentenced Johnson to four years probation for conspiracy to commit custodial interference that will follow her prison term and will require her to undergo mental health counseling and treatment.
'I Do Deserve the Max'
"I am brokenhearted over my son still being missing," Johnson told the judge. "I'm at a loss because I do deserve the max. What I have done is unconscionable. I would convict myself. I do deserve the maximum, I do. But it wasn't how [the prosecution] made it out to be. It wasn't like that. That's all I have to say."
Judge McMurdie said he wished he could devise a sentence that would bring closure in the case, but he could not do that. All he could do was sentence her for the charges for which she had been found guilty.
Johnson was locked in a custody battle with Gabriel's father, Logan McQueary, when she left Arizona with the baby and traveled to San Antonio, Texas. She told McQueary that she killed the baby and put him in a trash bin, but later told investigators that she gave the baby to a couple in San Antonio.
Credit for Time Served
At her sentencing, McQueary told the court that he wanted her to get the maximum sentence.
"I think Elizabeth should be held accountable for her actions, for making my son disappear," McQueary said. "She should stay in jail until Gabriel is found or be given the maximum sentence as possible."
Johnson will get credit for 2.9 years (1,062 days) of time served, meaning that she has only 2.35 years remaining to serve behind bars, less if she qualifies for parole.
The Baby Gabriel Case
Photos: Mug Shot