BALTIMORE, MD (WSOC) - The man accused of killing Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes in Maryland will get a new trial.
Michael Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder in February. Before his sentencing Wednesday, his defense team asked a judge for a new trial. The judge granted that request Wednesday afternoon.
The defense team said prosecutors did not give them enough time to research one of the witnesses. They argued that the time would have helped them discredit the witness.
"We are disappointed in the judge's decision, but we look forward to the new trial in which we will be able to present the evidence and testimony we believe establishes the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," said Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
Barnes, from Monroe in Union County, NC, disappeared while visiting her sister in Baltimore, MD, in December 2010. Her body was found four months later in the Susquehanna River.