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Tape shows accused killer's desire for Barnes, prosecution says

State also says it has a witness that saw Phylicia Barnes' body

January 25, 2013|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Dylane Davis, a younger brother of Johnson's who said he slept in the same bed as Deena and Phylicia the night before the teen went missing, testified he returned to the apartment to find the door unlocked and music blaring — something they did when leaving the apartment unattended and with the door unlocked, to discourage would-be burglars. He testified that he thought nothing of it.

Prosecutors acknowledged that they don't know how Johnson might have transported her body to the river 40 miles east of Baltimore where it was found, But they say he acted erratically that day, not going into work and purchasing a plastic tub from a Walmart that they believe he used to move the body.

His cellphone wasn't used in the period during which investigators believe Barnes was killed, and prosecutors said his phone was later traced to a spot near Patapsco Valley State Park — an area searched extensively at one point by police and volunteers.

When relatives realized Barnes was missing, they gathered at the Northwest Baltimore apartment to brainstorm ideas. Johnson was there, and Bryan Barnes testified Friday that his eyes were bloodshot and he spoke little. He didn't participate in future search efforts, though witnesses said he was asked to stay away.

In those first hours, the family was hopeful the girl would return. "We sat up and waited, hoping she would come through the door," Kelly Barnes testified.


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