Dec. 28, 2011 — A year after Phylicia Barnes disappeared, relatives marked the anniversary pressing for answers as the attorney for Michael Johnson criticized police for focusing on his client. Russell Neverdon said the case is "not progressing" and that police are wasting their time with Barnes' sister's ex-boyfriend. He also alleges that a Baltimore police officer who is related to the girl interfered in the early stages of the investigation. "It disheartens me, how they went about this. It's like the Keystone Kops." Neverdon said detectives collected DNA from his client, questioned him for hours and shown up at his work. "Very pointedly, they have nothing," he said. "If they had it, they would have brought charges." April 25, 2012 — Members of the Baltimore Police Department's Warrant Apprehension Task Force arrest Michael Johnson at his girlfriend's apartment. The arrest came about 11:30 p.m., according to his attorney, Neverdon, who alleged police expedited the bust "because they don't want to ruin the credibility of the case" based on Nicholson's suspension. The police union president defends Nicholson, saying, "This shows now only how good a cop he is, but how important his family is to him. The same effort and energy he put into locating Phylicia Barnes, you can see him doing the same for his daughter. That's the kind of cop we want to patrol the streets of Baltimore." April 26, 2012 — Baltimore police confirm Michael Johnson's arrest in a Twitter announcement at 12:41 a.m.
Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam