For Immediate Release 2/3/2015
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City State’s Attorney, announced the second indictment against Michael Maurice Johnson for the murder of Phylicia Barnes today. Johnson was charged with 2nd degree murder.
“I am committed to ensuring transparency in this case as well as all others. It is extremely important for the public to understand the criminal justice process and the laws that should follow to ensure that justice is served. My job is to uphold the law and rectify procedural missteps,” Mosby said.
Mosby explained the legal justifications for the State’s pursuit of a second indictment against Johnson at the press conference.
“The judge in the most recent trial did not have jurisdiction to rule on a motion for judgment of acquittal after he had previously granted a motion for a mistrial and dismissed the jury. Furthermore, the defendant in this case, explicitly waived his right to a ruling on a motion for judgment of acquittal. Putting it simply, we are now putting this case back in the same posture that we were in after the mistrial was granted,” stated Mosby.
Case law (State v. Sirbaugh) supports the position that once a motion for mistrial is granted the proceedings are concluded.
After a consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, it was determined that a direct appeal of the judge’s ruling was not possible. Indicting Johnson was the way to bring the matter to the court.
The case will be tried by Chief Deputy, Michael Schatzow along with co-chair Lisa Goldberg.
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