BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Michael Johnson has not taken the stand, but Wednesday, Phylicia Barnes’ accused killer’s recorded interviews with police played in court.
The interview was recorded so long ago, that it’s on a cassette tape.
Johnson, the ex-boyfriend of Barnes’ half sister, was the last person to see Phylicia alive.
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.
Prosecutors believe Johnson became obsessed with Phylicia after the teen was recorded partially naked in a video that Johnson was there for and had a copy of.
A homicide detective on the stand Wednesday said they interviewed Johnson while it was still a missing persons case. The detective admitted that it was unusual since he wasn’t a suspect at the time.
On the tape, Johnson told police he left Barnes alone to go do laundry.
“I went back to the dryer and she was falling asleep on the couch,” he said years ago.
Detectives described Johnson as cooperative and willing to answer questions early in the investigation.
Attorneys are under a gag order and witnesses told not to share their testimony.