The new trial for a 29-year-old man accused of allegedly killing a 16-year-old girl has been postponed until April. The postponement came after the man's defense attorneys asked for a continuation so that they would have a chance to prepare by going through the thousands of documents that are related to the case.
The trial will be the second one for the Baltimore man after a judge overturned his original conviction for a second-degree murder charge after it was determined that prosecutors withheld information about one of the key witnesses during the first trial.
The charges against the man stem from an incident that began back in December 2010. This is when the 16-year-old girl, an honor student, disappeared from her sister's home. The girl's body was later discovered in the waters of the Susquehanna River in Cecil County. According to WBAL TV 11, the man who was the ex-boyfriend of the girl's sister, was reportedly the last person to have seen her alive.
An inmate later testified that the man had allegedly phoned him the day the girl disappeared, saying that he had killed the girl after having sex with her and was needing help to dispose of the body. The inmate's testimony later came into question, however, after the man's attorneys argued that the initial prosecutors on the case had not told the jury about the inmate's criminal record.
Although the man was initially charged with first-degree murder, he now faces a second-degree murder. He is unable to face a first-degree murder charge since the jury found him not guilty of this charge during his first trial. The new trial is now scheduled to begin on April 30.
Murder charges are a serious offense that could result in a criminal conviction. An experienced Maryland attorney could assist a defendant and may be able to help ensure that he or she is treated fairly throughout the legal process.
Source: WBAL TV 11, "2nd trial in Phylicia Barnes' death postponed until April" Katie Lange, Feb. 21, 2014