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Justice Delayed In Barnes Teen Murder Case Trial: State Overwhelms Defense With Thousands Of Discovery Documents And Hints More To Come.

It was a familiar scene in the West Lexington Street Courthouse in downtown Baltimore. Accused killer Michael Johnson was lead into the court room shackled and prepared to stand trial for the killing of Monroe, N.C. honors teen Phylicia Barnes. Only this time Johnson’s appearance was brief as both attorneys for the State and Defense agreed that more time was needed to sort through reportedly 17,000 documents from the case’ Discovery filing, generated from investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Maryland State Police, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Baltimore City Homicide Division respectively. Although the postponement is bitter-sweet for Barnes family members, and a concerned public, the delay shed new insight into Johnson’s bolstered Defense Team. Johnson’s legal counsel has grown with three additional attorneys filing their appearances on his behalf. The addition of another Law Firm has peaked interest of followers in this tragic case, but the revelation of the State having filed such a volume of evidence in it’s Discovery demonstrates that Johnson’s defense necessitated assistance digesting all of the State’s documents. One of Johnson’s Defense Counsels Ivan Bates, who represents Johnson along with Russell Neverdon and Tony Garcia, even admitted himself that the State’s case was overwhelming, saying “It’s a lot of work” to review”. Lead Defense Counsel Russell Neverdon said he’s confused by the police claims in this case, particularly after reviewing their investigation files, and he contends that law enforcement is relying on “the old cliche” of blaming the person who admits the latest interaction with the victim. Neverdon’s comments obviously are mere posturing, because the latest filing in the case reveals that the Defense has waived Johnson’s Hicks rights (A Law that grants criminal defendants a right to a speedy trial; typically within 180 days). If Neverdon’s position truly supports a weak State’s case, the Defense would almost certainly have argued to proceed with trial today. More importantly, 17,000 pages of discovery evidence is no cake walk, and Johnson’s attorneys know it. The Defense can “cry wolf” that the case against Johnson is circumstantial all they want, but such a discovery, even on it’s face tends to point to an upheaval, and a stringent fight toward the desired acquittal of their client. Another interesting factor which points to defense posturing is Neverdon’s comments when questioned about a possible plea deal. Johnson’s lawyers said there has been no talk of a plea deal yet, and won’t be until they’ve had a chance to fully review the state’s case. Such a statement certainly appears to leave the door wide open for that option down the road, and shoots down the defense’s public display of confidence in their ability to obtain an eventual acquittal of  Michael Johnson. Johnson’s defense admission of an overwhelming discovery filing, the Hicks waiving, and their straddling the fence when responding to plea deal inquiries, sounds a different tune regarding their confidence in this case. In short they appear to be reeling in the face of a potential prima fascia State case against Johnson. Moreover, State Attorneys claim there is even more to come in this case. That statement was void of details as the State remains unusually tight-lipped, and the objective observer must refer back to Judge John A. Howard’s remarks during Johnson’s Bail Hearing. One of the chief premises for Johnson’s bail denial is that Howard believed Johnson was a danger to society, while stating “to those closest to him”. While the state hints at even more discovery, these facts present an extremely compelling argument that parties within Johnson’s own camp may have flipped, possibly to save their own necks, and may even testify against him. The Case Filing on May 23, 2012 for a MOTION FOR JOINT TRIAL OF DEFENDANTS AND OFFENSES & a NOTICE OF PLEA BARGAIN POLICY remains a mystery, and continues to offer intangible clues to where this case is actually headed. The filings may have prompted the inquiries from the media about a plea deal. Why a Motion was filed for a Joint Trial of Defendants is unclear, however, it stands out as unique and odd during the process of a Capitol Crime in which there has only been one defendant named publicly. Justice delayed doesn’t necessarily mean justice denied, and we remain hopefully that the facts surrounding what really happened to young Phylicia Barnes comes to the light.

 

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

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It was a familiar scene in the West Lexington Street Courthouse in downtown Baltimore. Accused killer Michael Johnson was lead into the court room shackled and prepared to stand trial for the killing of Monroe, N.C. honors teen Phylicia Barnes. Only this time Johnson’s appearance was brief as both attorneys for the State and Defense agreed that more time was needed to sort through reportedly 17,000 documents from the case’ Discovery filing, generated from investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Maryland State Police, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Baltimore City Homicide Division respectively. Although the postponement is bitter-sweet for Barnes family members, and a concerned public, the delay shed new insight into Johnson’s bolstered Defense Team. Johnson’s legal counsel has grown with three additional attorneys filing their appearances on his behalf. The addition of another Law Firm has peaked interest of followers in this tragic case, but the revelation of the State having filed such a volume of evidence in it’s Discovery demonstrates that Johnson’s defense necessitated assistance digesting all of the State’s documents. One of Johnson’s Defense Counsels Ivan Bates, who represents Johnson along with Russell Neverdon and Tony Garcia, even admitted himself that the State’s case was overwhelming, saying “It’s a lot of work” to review”. Lead Defense Counsel Russell Neverdon said he’s confused by the police claims in this case, particularly after reviewing their investigation files, and he contends that law enforcement is relying on “the old cliche” of blaming the person who admits the latest interaction with the victim. Neverdon’s comments obviously are mere posturing, because the latest filing in the case reveals that the Defense has waived Johnson’s Hicks rights (A Law that grants criminal defendants a right to a speedy trial; typically within 180 days). If Neverdon’s position truly supports a weak State’s case, the Defense would almost certainly have argued to proceed with trial today. More importantly, 17,000 pages of discovery evidence is no cake walk, and Johnson’s attorneys know it. The Defense can “cry wolf” that the case against Johnson is circumstantial all they want, but such a discovery, even on it’s face tends to point to an upheaval, and a stringent fight toward the desired acquittal of their client. Another interesting factor which points to defense posturing is Neverdon’s comments when questioned about a possible plea deal. Johnson’s lawyers said there has been no talk of a plea deal yet, and won’t be until they’ve had a chance to fully review the state’s case. Such a statement certainly appears to leave the door wide open for that option down the road, and shoots down the defense’s public display of confidence in their ability to obtain an eventual acquittal of  Michael Johnson. Johnson’s defense admission of an overwhelming discovery filing, the Hicks waiving, and their straddling the fence when responding to plea deal inquiries, sounds a different tune regarding their confidence in this case. In short they appear to be reeling in the face of a potential prima fascia State case against Johnson. Moreover, State Attorneys claim there is even more to come in this case. That statement was void of details as the State remains unusually tight-lipped, and the objective observer must refer back to Judge John A. Howard’s remarks during Johnson’s Bail Hearing. One of the chief premises for Johnson’s bail denial is that Howard believed Johnson was a danger to society, while stating “to those closest to him”. While the state hints at even more discovery, these facts present an extremely compelling argument that parties within Johnson’s own camp may have flipped, possibly to save their own necks, and may even testify against him. The Case Filing on May 23, 2012 for a MOTION FOR JOINT TRIAL OF DEFENDANTS AND OFFENSES & a NOTICE OF PLEA BARGAIN POLICY remains a mystery, and continues to offer intangible clues to where this case is actually headed. The filings may have prompted the inquiries from the media about a plea deal. Why a Motion was filed for a Joint Trial of Defendants is unclear, however, it stands out as unique and odd during the process of a Capitol Crime in which there has only been one defendant named publicly. Justice delayed doesn’t necessarily mean justice denied, and we remain hopefully that the facts surrounding what really happened to young Phylicia Barnes comes to the light.

 

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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