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Homicide

Third trial ordered for man acquitted in death of Phylicia Barnes

Third trial ordered for man acquitted in death of Phylicia Barnes

Maryland's highest court has ruled that the accused killer of Phylicia Barnes can be tried for a third time, saying a city judge who acquitted him "was totally without authority to act."

Michael M. Johnson, 33, has been free since January 2015, when Judge John Addison Howard ruled that prosecutors lacked evidence and dismissed second-degree murder charges.

But that ruling came after Howard had already declared a mistrial, and in a unanimous opinion issued Wednesday, the Court of Appeals found that Howard no longer had the ability to grant an acquittal.

Baltimore prosecutors have said they intend to try Johnson again for the 2010 killing of Barnes, a...

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