Elizabeth Johnson's grandfather speaks out - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Elizabeth Johnson's grandfather speaks out

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Elizabeth Johnson speaks with her grandfather, Bob Johnson, at least once a week.  The two talked after a jury convicted her on unlawful imprisonment, a lesser charge than the kidnapping she was accused of.

"She was elated. She was very happy with the decision," Bob Johnson said.

They spoke again just three days ago, before a judge decided Elizabeth Johnson should stay behind bars until her sentencing on Dec. 7.  Bob Johnson said it's for her own good.

"It's a matter of her own security, her own protection. And I think that until the whole thing is wrapped up and we have a sentencing and a final plan she's safer, it's better for her. I know she doesn't like that," he said.

Bob Johnson said his granddaughter isn't the same person we saw get locked up nearly three years ago.

"She realizes that there was a better way," he said.

He said he's hopeful she'll be released on time served at her sentencing, and if she is, she'll stay with him.

"She's welcome. She is welcome. She knows that. So she's got a place to go," he said.

At the heart of this sad story is a question that may never get answered.  Where is baby Gabriel?

"That's a really good question. That's what's lurking at the bottom of all this stuff. When you get done with all the guilty and not guilty and guilty of what. Where's baby Gabriel," Bob Johnson said.

He said he doesn't think Elizabeth Johnson is capable of murder.

"I think she gave him up. I don't think she has the capacity or the inclination to harm the child," he said.

Johnson said his granddaughter's best bet, if she is released, is to move out of state and try to start over somewhere no one knows her.  Given the national attention this tragic case has gotten, that might be pretty difficult.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Baby Gabriel sidebar

Updated:

READ: Baby Gabriel's father pleads guilty to theft (4/16/2012) Judge tosses evidence in 'Baby Gabriel' case (4/16/2012) Father of missing Arizona baby to testify (4/12/2012) 2 women about to face More>>

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