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Md. appeals court: New trial can move forward in Phylicia Barnes' death

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 29, 2016
A Maryland court has ruled a new trial can proceed against a man charged with killing Phylicia Barnes, a North Carolina teenager.
 
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state's intermediate appellate court, issued the ruling Wednesday.
 
The case involves Michael Maurice Johnson, who was charged with killing 16-year-old Barnes. Her body was found in the Susquehanna River months after she disappeared while visiting family in Baltimore in 2010.
 
Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013. But he was granted a new trial after a judge ruled prosecutors withheld evidence. In December, a judge declared a mistrial in the second trial.
 
But the higher court says the judge didn't have the authority to grant acquittal after a mistrial was declared and the jury was dismissed.
 
"The pursuit of justice for victims of crime in Baltimore City is never easy, but a battle we will always wage in our fight to do what's right.  This case has and always will be about securing justice for this 16-year-old girl and we are elated that the Court of Special Appeals decision will allow us to do so," State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said in a statement. 
 

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