"I had a dream last night that I had died and all these people came to my funeral," Evanda L. Johnson wrote in her diary two summers ago. "It was real scary."

A few months later, on Oct. 19, 1985, Johnson, a former track star at Osbourn High School in Manassas, disappeared. Her body was found nine months later in the closet of an abandoned house on Carver Road in Prince William County.

Today, her husband goes on trial on a murder charge.

Lewis Edward Johnson, 27, is charged with killing his estranged 23-year-old wife, who had planned to testify against him in a criminal trial in Prince George's County.

In that case, Lewis Johnson was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck with a .38-caliber gun. The trial was set to begin Nov. 7, 1985. After Evanda Johnson's disappearance, her husband pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Defense attorneys Lon Farris and E. Allen Newcomb are expected to ask Prince William Circuit Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. to exclude information about the Maryland case from being introduced in the murder trial.

Evanda Johnson's diary and three letters she wrote to her husband are pivotal to the case, prosecutors say. At a hearing Friday, defense attorneys argued that the material is irrelevant and should not be admissible as evidence, but Whisenant said he would decide on a case-by-case basis during the trial.

Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert has indicated that the diary and letters suggest that Lewis Johnson, who is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond in the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center, was trying to persuade his wife not to testify against him.

Prosecutors also say the written material will shed light on Evanda Johnson's state of mind, and support the murder charge.

Medical examiners were unable to determine a cause of death because Johnson's body, which was wrapped in an electric blanket tied around her neck and ankles, was so badly decomposed.

Farris argued Friday that the letters and diary are "hearsay" and that Evanda Johnson's "state of mind is not at issue."

In interviews with police, Lewis Johnson has repeatedly denied that he killed his wife. But, according to court records, an acquaintance of his told police that Johnson told her that he had strangled his wife.

Police have said that Evanda Johnson, who at the time of her disappearance was living in Manassas with her mother, was last seen with Lewis Johnson, who lived in nearby Gainesville.

In a recent interview, Evanda Johnson's mother, Rose Hogan, said that on the day her daughter disappeared, the two women had made plans to meet after Evanda Johnson picked up her paycheck at a Long John Silver's restaurant in Manassas.

"When she didn't show up, I knew something was wrong," Hogan said. "My daughter and I were very close. If she wasn't going to meet me, she would have called."

Hogan said she knew that her daughter kept a diary. "Ever since she was a little girl, she always liked to write everything down," she said.

But she never knew her daughter had a dream about her own funeral.

"I never told anyone," Evanda Johnson wrote of that dream. "I'm all confused with no one to help me. But myself."