BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A murder trial that’s been moving at a crawl suddenly picked up pace on day six.
Prosecutors called four people to the stand to answer questions about their interactions with Michael Johnson, Phylicia Barnes’ sister’s ex-boyfriend.
Barnes was a 16-year-old girl from North Carolina who disappeared while visiting her half-sisters in Baltimore around Christmas in 2010. Her body was eventually discovered floating in the Susquehana River.
Johnson was convicted once before, but a judge later tossed the ruling. Johnson’s second time in the courtroom ended in mistrial.
Tuesday, testimony was given by some of those closest to Johnson; his cousin and his brother. But the strongest testimony came from a neighbor who knew him only in passing.
The neighbor said he saw Johnson struggling to move a large plastic tub the day Barnes disappeared. Prosecutors argued he used the tub to transport the teen’s body. The defense said Johnson was moving out of his apartment at the time and that’s what his neighbor saw.
Attorneys pulled out old transcripts Tuesday to help remind witnesses what they’ve said before, because a lot of them testified and have forgotten details in the last eight years.
Attorneys are under a gag order and witnesses told not to share their testimony.
The Barnes family said they’re still hopeful as the trial continues.
The final judgment may be weeks away.