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Posted: 5:29 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2013
UNION COUNTY, N.C. —
The case of the man accused of killing a Union County teenager is now in the hands of the jury. On Monday evening, the jury began deliberating the fate of Michael Johnson, the man accused of killing 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes. During closing arguments, prosecutors admitted they are missing a so-called smoking gun in their case against Johnson, but they are asking jurors to piece together the evidence that they do have. They believe that Johnson was romantically interested in Barnes and jealous of the time she spent with others. They rely heavily on the word of an inmate with a lengthy record, who said he saw Barnes' body when Johnson called him for help to dispose of it. The Baltimore Sun reported that the defense rejected prosecutors' theory and pointed to the evidence or lack thereof – calling the only witness claiming to have seen the body "unreliable." They also said there is nothing tying Johnson to the river where Barnes' body was found. The jury currently has the case and will resume Tuesday morning.
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