BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Old evidence, new trial. Tuesday was day two of an accused killer’s third trial on the same murder charge.
Attorneys spent Tuesday tap dancing around old evidence in the new murder trial for Michael Johnson, who is in court for the third time on the same charge.
He’s accused of killing a teenager back in 2010.
It’s evident how the past two trials have complicated this trial.
Attorneys spent all day Tuesday arguing over what old evidence will come into play, including a text message, in which Johnson mentioned the possibility of fleeing the country.
A legal rewind, as attorneys try to fast forward a complicated murder trial.
A case that’s been argued not once, but twice before.
Johnson is accused of killing 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes.
The North Carolina honor student vanished while visiting her half-sisters around Christmas in 2010.
Ultimately, her body was discovered floating in the Susquehanna River.
Eight years later, prosecutors and defense attorneys are scrapping over what evidence and testimony from Johnson’s two past trials will reappear now.
Convicted once before, a judge later tossed the ruling. Johnson’s second time in the courtroom ended in mistrial. Now, a new state legal team is trying to score a conviction that will stick.
Hinged on years-old recordings, wiretapped phone calls and text messages — only some of which will be used again.
It sounds like the nitty-gritty of the trial will really get underway Wednesday morning.
We learned on Tuesday that attorneys on both sides are under a serious gag order and not allowed to talk to media.
Investigators say Johnson was the ex-boyfriend of the victim’s sister, and the last to see her alive.