Man Accused of the Same Crime Twice, State’s Attorney Says It’s Legal

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Phylicia Barnes, 16, disappeared while visiting relatives in Baltimore.

A man was indicted for the second time in connection with the murder of a North Carolina teen, and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney is arguing it’s not double jeopardy.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced a second indictment against Michael Johnson for allegedly killing Phylicia Barnes in 2010. Barnes, a 17-year-old honors student, went missing while visiting Baltimore. Her body was discovered four months later. The case lead to reforms known as Phylicia’s Law that were designed to improve communication among authorities in missing-person cases.

Johnson, who dated Barnes’ sister, stood trial for murdering Barnes last month, but a judge dismissed charges after a declaring a mistrial. Mosby, who took office last month, argued that she is within her right to bring the same charges because she doesn’t think the judge had the right to release Johnson.

Putting it simply, we are now putting this case back in the same posture that we were in after the mistrial was granted,” Mosby said.


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