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Woman Charged In JHU Researcher’s Death Cuts Deal

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Prosecutors have agreed to drop murder charges against a woman charged in the fatal stabbing of a Johns Hopkins researcher in exchange for her testimony against her co-defendant.

Lavelva Merritt has pleaded guilty to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the death of Stephen Pitcairn, saying her co-defendant John Wagner stabbed Pitcairn. To get the deal with prosecutors, Merritt will also have to testify against Wagner, who is scheduled to go to trial next month. Merritt would then spend about 15 years behind bars.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein declined to comment on the deal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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