Opening statements heard in Barnes case

BALTIMORE - Opening statements were heard Friday in the trial against the man accused of killing North Carolina teen Phylicia Barnes. 

It was a day that Phylicia's father Russell is glad to see. He's looking for justice.

The state wasted no time in saying they believe the accused, 28-year-old Michael Johnson, called another man for help that saw Barnes' body. They said they can't show how the teen's body got to Harford County from Baltimore, but they know that "Michael Johnson killed her."

Michael Johnson

Attorneys went on to say that Barnes and Johnson had a relationship -- a relationship that changed on June 13, 2010 when a sex video was recorded. Prosecutors said there were 314 texts that were exchanged between Johnson and Phylicia after the sex tape was made.

Barnes disappeared during a visit to her half-sister in Baltimore in 2010. In April of 2011, after a massive search, Barnes' body was found in the Susquehanna River near the Conowingo Dam.  She had been strangled.

Johnson reportedly dated Barnes' sister for several years.

The defense countered state prosecutors Friday, saying the man prosecutors say witnessed Johnson with a body is nothing more than a jail house snitch. They also argued there are no real facts in the case.

Check back with ABC2 News as we continue to develop this story.

* ABC 2 News' Brian Kuebler contributed to this report. Kuebler will be covering the trial until it ends.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments