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Man acquitted in 3rd trial in N Carolina teen’s 2010 death

March 30, 2018

BALTIMORE (AP) — The man charged with killing a North Carolina teenager in Baltimore in 2010 has been acquitted in his third trial in the case.

News outlets report Judge Charles J. Peters ruled Friday the state’s case against 34-year-old Michael Maurice Johnson left too many questions unanswered and failed to establish a motive. Johnson was the last known person to have seen 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes alive.

Her body was found in the Susquehanna River months after she disappeared while visiting family.

A jury convicted Johnson of second-degree murder in 2013, but he was granted a new trial after a judge ruled prosecutors withheld evidence. The judge presiding over his second trial declared a mistrial in 2015.

Public defender Katy O’Donnell said Johnson’s conviction wouldn’t have brought justice for Barnes.

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