BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prosecutors spent Friday attempting to recreate an accused killer’s movements using cell phone towers to build their case against Michael Johnson.
Johnson is on trial for the murder of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, an honor student from North Carolina who vanished in 2010 while visiting family in Baltimore. Her body was found months later.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent the day questioning a Baltimore City Police sergeant acting as an expect witness who analyzed Johnson’s cell phone use, mapping a network of cell phone towers to try to draw a timeline of where he went the day Barnes vanished.
However, he realized Friday that there was an error in the map, which has been used in two separate trials.
Barnes was visiting her half-sisters in Baltimore when she disappeared just after Christmas. A desperate man hunt turned up nothing, until months later when her body surfaced in the Susquehanna River.
In the years since, Johnson has stood trial twice for her death. The state has been unable to score a conviction that sticks. This is their third go at a second-degree murder charge.
Now, the murder mystery is one day closer to a court ruling.
Attorneys are under a gag order, which has led to reporters not being able to ask how many witnesses they have left to call.
Friday wrapped week three of trial.
Johnson was convicted once before, but it was overturned before sentencing.