Trial For Killer of Teen, Phylicia Barnes, Begins

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Goldberg hopes to convince jurors that Johnson, his relationship with Deena notwithstanding, had a sexual obsession with Phylicia. On the sex video, Goldberg said, Johnson is seen touching Deena, but looking at Phylicia.

The sex video was made in June of 2010, Goldberg said that Johnson started texting Phylicia with greater frequency. By the end of the year, they had exchanged over 1,300 messages.

Neverdon countered that the texts were completely innocent, that there was nothing “explicit or inappropriate” in them.

In addition to the circumstantial evidence against Johnson, Goldberg said the state would produce a witness that claims he saw Phylicia’s body in Deena’s apartment. Johnson, Goldberg told jurors, had called the witness, James McCray, to help him dispose of Phylicia’s body.

Neverdon dismissed McCray, currently on lockdown in Charles County, Md., as a “jailhouse snitch.”

Part of the state’s case against Johnson is his absence from work the day Phylicia went missing. Investigators, Goldberg told jurors, traced his cell phone to Patapsco Valley State Park, not far from the river where Phylicia’s body was found.

As might be expected, Johnson has maintained since his arrest that he’s not guilty. But there’s guilt to go around in the matter of Phylicia Barnes, her disappearance, her murder and sex, lies and videotape.

The sex on the videotape has already been described. As for the lies, well, there have been lies aplenty. It’s just a matter of who’s been telling them.

For a period of four months, police and investigators asked Deena Barnes, Johnson and just about everybody else connected with Phylicia what had happened to the girl. Judging from the reaction, nobody knew a damned thing.

But somebody knew plenty. That would be the person – or persons – that murdered Phylicia and disposed of her body.

That may or may not have been Johnson. But, based on what has come out in that Baltimore circuit court so far, one thing is certain.

Had Phylicia been visiting anybody but her big sis Deena, then baby sis might still be alive today.

(Photo: AP)

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