A Baltimore Circuit Court judge dismissed second-degree murder and other charges against Michael Johnson, 30, for the death of North Carolina teenager Phylicia Barnes, whose body was found in the Susquehanna River in 2010.
Judge John Addison Howard dismissed all the charges saying the prosecution’s “arguably circumstantial” case against Michael Johnson was insufficient evidence. He ordered Johnson be freed on Tuesday.
The State’s Attorney vows to appeal the ruling.
Johnson was arrested and charged with Phylicia Barnes’ murder in 2012, after she disappeared while visiting relatives in Baltimore. Her body was found several months later in the Susquehanna River.
Michael Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013. A new trial was ordered after a judge ruled that prosecutors had withheld evidence about a key witness.