BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore judge has denied bail for a man accused of killing a North Carolina teen whose body was found in a Maryland river months after she went missing.
Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Goldberg told the judge Friday that Michael Johnson, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, mentioned in emails and texts that he would flee the country if charged. Noting concerns about those messages, Judge John Addison Howard ordered Johnson, Barnes' half-sister's ex-boyfriend, held without bail.
Goldberg says Johnson asphyxiated Barnes in her half-sister's apartment, then used a 35-gallon tub to move the body. She says he was videotaped buying the tub and a neighbor saw him carrying it.
Johnson has denied the charges and his attorney calls the case circumstantial.