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Phylicia Barnes

Judge drops all charges against Michael Johnson

Judge drops all charges against Michael Johnson

A Baltimore judge has dismissed charges against the man accused in the late 2010 disappearance and death of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, setting free the only suspect in a case that drew national attention but has been criticized as flimsy. Michael Maurice Johnson, 30, has been jailed since 2012 and was convicted of second-degree murder a year later in the teen's death. Piecing together what they described as "circumstantial evidence," prosecutors alleged that Johnson developed a questionable relationship with the teen — the younger half-sister of his longtime girlfriend — then killed her and dumped her body in the Susquehanna River. Previously, Judge Alfred J....