BALTIMORE — The third trial has begun for a man accused of murdering a 16-year-old girl in Baltimore in 2010.

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that prosecutors gave opening arguments for why they claim Michael Maurice Johnson murdered Phylicia Barnes.

Barnes was the younger sister of Johnson’s girlfriend, and prosecutors say Johnson became obsessed with her. He was the last person to see her alive. He was seen struggling to move a container that prosecutors say concealed her body.

Defense attorneys countered that reasonable explanations disprove prosecutors’ theories and that they have no evidence.

Barnes lived in Monroe, North Carolina, and disappeared while visiting family in Baltimore. Her body was found months later.

A jury convicted Johnson of second-degree murder in 2013. A judge acquitted him in 2015. Both verdicts were overturned.

Information from: The Baltimore Sun,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.