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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 04:32 AM   #76
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes Is Missing…so Is Media Attention

I started following this story after reading the original post. Every couple of days, I would search - hoping that there would be some news. Although I am so sad that it ended so tragically, she has been found. Now, I just pray that they find out what happened to her.
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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 05:07 AM   #77
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes Is Missing…so Is Media Attention

may she rest in peace
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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #78
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes Is Missing…so Is Media Attention


Rest in Heaven .
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Old Aug 31st, 2012, 04:09 PM   #79
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes' Killer Caught! Awaits Trial

They caught the bastard!
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April 29th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Missing Teen Phylicia Barnes’ Suspected Killer Arrested




The Baltimore Police Department homicide detectives assigned to find the killer of 16 year old Phylicia Barnes who went missing and found later dead, while visiting family in Baltimore during Christmas, 2010, arrested a suspect last week. Michael Johnson, a former boyfriend of Barnes’ older half -sister has been arrested for her death.

It is a bitter sweet ending to a case that failed to garner national attention of 16 year old Barnes, a bright African American teenager, headed for college. She was likely thought to have been abducted according to Baltimore police but later found dead in the Susquehanna River. Phylicia was a straight A student from North Carolina who was visiting relatives in Baltimore over the Christmas holiday in 2010 when she went missing on December 28, 2010. She was planning on attending college in Baltimore, having graduated a year early.

Baltimore detectives pitched the media to cover her missing story. There was some coverage on Nancy Grace show, ABC news and a few other outlets. But, that limited coverage occurred when Baltimore police pleaded with the media to run her story. By all accounts, if Phylicia were a white teen age girl, her story would have appeared nationally, just like Elizabeth Smart, Natalie Holloway, Casey Anthony, Robin Gardner or Chandra Levy. The media was obsessed with both the Aruba cases of two missing women Holloway and Gardner and of course, the Chandra Levy cases. The media stayed on the Elizabeth Smart abduction from Salt Lake City, UT until she was located, months later. But, when it came to a similar black teen age girl, she was almost invisible to the media. Baltimore police spokesperson described her case as “Baltimore’s missing Natalie Holloway.”

The main stream media seriously lacks diversity when it comes to African American women appearing in the media and news stories about them. Often times, the faces of black women and girls are almost invisible from the media. That includes black women commentators and news about black women or girls gone missing in the media. In the case of missing Phylicia Barnes, the lack of media coverage may have cost her life. If there is a silver lining, it is that the Baltimore Police Department did not give up on fighting in finding Barnes’ suspected killer. The father of Barnes says the police were in almost weekly contact with him. The police stood by and fought until they could bring some closure to the family of Phylicia Barnes. May she rest in peace. Johnson has been indicted for first degree murder in the death of Phylicia Barnes.

Legal Speaks (http://www.legalspeaks.com/2012/04/m...ller-arrested/)
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Posted: 9:38 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Trial for Phylicia Barnes' accused killer starts in August - WSOCTV
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Posted at 04:38 PM ET, 08/13/2012
Trial postponed in death of Phylicia Barnes

By the Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The trial of a man accused of first-degree murder in the 2010 death of a North Carolina teenager has been postponed.

Both prosecution and defense lawyers requested the postponement Monday, saying thousands of pages of evidence must be sorted through in the slaying of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes of Monroe, N.C. The trial has been rescheduled for Jan. 21.

Twenty-eight-year-old Michael Johnson is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend’s half-sister. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Johnson killed Barnes in her half-sister’s apartment, then used a 35-gallon tub to move the body. Barnes’ body was found months later in the Susquehanna River.

The Crime Scene (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...40a0_blog.html)
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Old Dec 30th, 2012, 12:50 AM   #80
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes' Killer Caught! Awaits Trial

In Phylicia Barnes murder case, prosecutors say sex video includes victim, alleged killer

By Justin Fenton | 45 minutes ago


City prosecutors have filed notice that they intend to play at trial a video that depicts teenage slaying victim Phylicia Barnes “intoxicated and engaging in sexual relations” with her accused killer, his younger brother and her older half sister, court records show.

The court filing in the high-profile case — a motion to close the courtroom when the video is played — marks the first time prosecutors have publicly linked a video to Barnes and the alleged killer.

Last year, federal authorities filed search warrant applications describing a “child pornography” investigation, while seeking access to the Facebook pages and e-mail addresses of Barnes, 16, and at least three other people, according to court documents.

It is not clear how the video relates to the murder charge against Michael Maurice Johnson, the 28-year-old ex-boyfriend of Barnes’s 29-year-old half sister, Deena Barnes.

Prosecutors do not comment on pending cases, but they wrote in the motion that it will be played during Deena Barnes’s testimony.

The video was “recorded and stored” on Deena Barnes’s phone and is more than 16 minutes long, prosecutors wrote in the motion.
Prosecutors asked to close the courtroom because two of the people who appear in the video are minors.

“The state does not wish to maintain the closure of the courtroom for questions asked to Deena Barnes subsequent to the video,” prosecutors wrote.

Contacted Friday, the husband of Phylicia Barnes’s mother, Janice Mustafa, declined to comment.

Her father, Russell Barnes, said he was not aware of the video and also declined to comment, except to say, “We’re just staying focused.”

Continued @ Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...64b_story.html)
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Old Dec 30th, 2012, 04:18 AM   #81
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes' Killer Caught! Awaits Trial

I'm glad the family will get some closure. I wonder how they caught the suspect and how they got a hold of the video?

Poor girl. RIP.
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #82
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Re: 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes' Killer Caught! Awaits Trial

Johnson to get new trial in killing of Phylicia Barnes

Judge throws out conviction, says prosecutors withheld information



Michael Johnson, found guilty of killing Phylicia Barnes, will get a new trial after a judge ruled key evidence was withheld from prosecutors. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun video)

By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun 9:28 p.m. EDT, March 20, 2013

A Baltimore judge threw out the murder conviction of a man who was to be sentenced Wednesday in the killing of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, saying prosecutors withheld information about a key witness from defense attorneys.

The second-degree murder conviction of Michael Maurice Johnson, 29, last month had appeared to close the case of the North Carolina girl who disappeared while visiting family in Baltimore in 2010. But Circuit Judge Alfred Nance's ruling will give Johnson another chance to plead his innocence.

Prosecutors said they were "disappointed" in the ruling but planned to retry the case. Barnes' father expressed confidence that Johnson would be convicted again.

Defense attorneys, who had requested a new trial, said the ruling would help them present a more complete rebuttal of the state's case.

Nance's decision turned on the testimony of James McCray, who said he saw Barnes' body after Johnson asked him for help in disposing it. His was the only testimony that linked Johnson directly to a murder scene. The defense questioned McCray's credibility, deriding him at trial as a "jailhouse snitch."

Prosecutors had said that McCray was incarcerated in Charles County and did not have access to media accounts of the Barnes trial, but the defense team later learned that he had been detained in Baltimore County for a time. That was one of several details Nance said the defense should have disclosed.

"This court notes that while defendant is not guaranteed a perfect trial, he is guaranteed a fair trial, and these violations amount to a failure to meet that standard," the judge said in a written opinion.

McCray also testified that he had been a witness in two other trials. But the day after the verdict was handed down in the Barnes killing, prosecutors in Montgomery County contacted the Baltimore state's attorney's office about McCray's role as a potential witness in a separate murder case.

One county officer's notes raised concerns about McCray's credibility, though a later prosecution response argued that other area investigators had vouched for the witness. Ultimately, he did not testify in the Montgomery County murder trial.

City prosecutors took two weeks to notify the defense of the new information — outside the 10-day window for the defense to request a new trial — but said they did so because they were researching the validity of the new claim. Nance said that "by withholding it from the defendant during a critical time period after the verdict, the state in essence suppressed the information."

After the judge's ruling, defense attorney Ivan Bates said, "It's important that everyone play by the same set of rules, and the state got its hand caught in the cookie jar."

Barnes' disappearance and her family's desperate search for clues became one of the highest-profile missing persons cases in recent years, drawing broad attention to the issue of missing children.

Johnson has been held without bail since his arrest in April. He was not released Wednesday, but his attorneys said they might petition for his release on bond. Because the jury acquitted him of first-degree murder, they believe he cannot face that charge again.

Russell Barnes, Phylicia's father, said the family was not upset by the judge's ruling. "It's a setback," he said. "We know the state has the right person, no ifs, ands or buts about it."

After being convicted after a 12-day trial last month, Johnson could have been sentenced to 30 years in prison. He had dated Barnes' elder sister Deena for years, and prosecutors alleged that he had grown inappropriately close to the teen in the months preceding her death.

Though they could not explain how Barnes' body was found months later floating in the Susquehanna River, prosecutors said circumstantial evidence pointed to Johnson's guilt. That included Johnson's having called out of work the day of the girl's disappearance and his being seen by a neighbor struggling to move a plastic tub that prosecutors believe contained her body.

The judge had said during the trial that the prosecution's theory of the killing had caused him "great concern" and that the circumstantial evidence gave added importance to McCray's testimony, which was direct.

McCray testified that he knew Johnson through an under-the-table vehicle tag business he ran, and that Johnson had told him he had raped the girl and killed her because she would not stop crying. He said he advised Johnson how to elude police detection.

McCray testified that while reading the Bible one night, he felt compelled by his guilt to come forward with the information. That occurred months after Johnson was indicted.

Prosecutors asserted Wednesday that the totality of the evidence was strong. "The jury heard all the testimony, and their verdict is correct," Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Goldberg told Nance. "It would be a miscarriage of justice not to let this verdict stand.

[Baltimore Sun]
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