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Posted: 7:00 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Testimony will resume in Maryland Friday in the trial of the man accused of killing Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes. On Thursday, prosecutors presented phone calls and text messages.Those were obtained by wiretaps placed on suspect Michael Johnson’s phone.Text messages from October of 2011 show he talked to his girlfriend about leaving town.Days later, he talked to his brother about the difference between first and second-degree murder, and how much time he could serve.Johnson’s defense team argued the conversations could be taken out of context.On Wednesday, defense attorneys called the prosecution’s key witness a “jail house snitch.”James Lee, who was friends with Johnson, took the stand Wednesday and told jurors that Johnson told him about raping Barnes.Lee said Johnson choked her because she would not stop crying. Lee said Johnson then put the 16-year-old’s body in a container and put it in the water.Johnson’s defense attorney said the testimony shouldn’t hold up in court.The attorney described Lee as someone who “couldn’t tell Michael Johnson from Michael Jordan.”
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