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Michael Johnson To Be Retried For Phylicia Barnes' Murder

12:55 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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Baltimore, MD -- Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein said his office plans to retry Michael Johnson for the death of a North Carolina honor student who was missing for months before her body was found in a river.

A judge ordered a new trial Wednesday for Johnson, who was convicted last year, in the death of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes.

Johnson's lawyers said prosecutors improperly tried to bolster the credibility of a witness who testified that Johnson asked him for help disposing of Barnes' body.

Bernstein said he looks forward to a new trial in which his office will be able to present evidence and testimony they believe will establish Johnson's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Johnson faced up to 30 years in prison.

Johnson was convicted in February of second-degree murder in the death of Barnes, an honor student who disappeared while visiting relatives in Baltimore in December 2010. Her body was found four months later in the Susquehanna River.

Johnson's lawyers filed a motion for a new trial February 20. Attorney Russell Neverdon says prosecutors improperly tried to bolster the credibility of a witness who testified that Johnson asked him for help disposing of Barnes' body.

Read: Witness Saw Phylicia Barnes' Body In Room

 

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