• 3rd murder trial opens for man accused in Monroe teen's death

    Updated:

    BALTIMORE - The third trial has begun for a man charged with murder in the death of a 16-year-old Monroe girl in Baltimore in 2010.

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

    [Teen’s accused killer to go on trial for 3rd time]

    [Appeals court orders new trial for man acquitted of killing Phylicia Barnes]

    Barnes was the younger sister of Johnson's girlfriend. 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 lack evidence.

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

    A jury initially convicted Johnson of second-degree murder. A judge later acquitted him. Both verdicts were overturned.

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    Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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