Murder Trial Underway For Man Accused Of Stabbing Hopkins Researcher

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The trial is underway for the man accused of murdering a Johns Hopkins researcher. The high-profile case hinges on the testimony of his accomplice.

Mike Hellgren has been in court all day.

The murder of promising Johns Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn drew widespread outrage across Maryland.

Pitcairn was stabbed to death during a robbery while walking home in Charles Village in July of last year.  He was on the phone with his mom, who heard it all unfold.

Police quickly arrested John Wagner and his girlfriend Lavelva Merritt for the crime.

Wagner faces murder charges. Merritt cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against him. According to published reports, she gave a statement that said Wagner stabbed Pitcairn and she punched him in the face after he fell to the ground.

“If the evidence shows him guilty, I want to say put away.  The last thing I want is him on the street doing this to someone else,” said neighbor Stephen Gewirtz.

Wagner previously pleaded guilty to beating someone and driving a stolen car but served no jail time.

“It’s just chilling, the description,” he said.

Prosecutors reveal surveillance images of him beating someone during a robbery attempt just three months before the murder.

“This certainly was a senseless tragedy and an example of a breakdown in the system,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Pitcairn’s dream was to help those less fortunate. He’d only been at Hopkins for a short time.

“He said that his biggest ambition was to give back to the community through being a physician,” said Pitcairn’s sister.

Wagner faces life in prison if convicted of the crime.

Right now, they’re trying to whittle down the jury pool.  There are 100 potential jurors in the case.  The trial is expected to wrap up by the end of next week.

Merritt’s expected to serve no more than 15 years in prison for her role in the crime.

More from Mike Hellgren
Comments

One Comment

  1. donato says:

    Bmore, He’ll walk. Blame it on slavery and lead paint

    1. Kimberly Blackwell says:

      LOL I AGREE BALTIMORE IS SUCH A FREAKIN JOKE HECK THE WHOLE STATE OF MARYLAND IS!!!

  2. Madman says:

    Such a sad case. This person should be put to death, if convicted, but we are in the liberal state of Maryland.

  3. Scott S says:

    This horrible case only goes to illustrate that Baltimore is owned and run by criminals. It is thug nation. Innocent law-abiding persons don’t stand a chance in Baltimore with it’s endless supply of carreer criminals and worthless thugs from the worst neighborhoods in America. A huge percentage of Black Baltimoreans have long criminal records who not only keep crime in the city very high, but also taint and dilute potential jury pools who will show indentification and sympathy for the purpetrators and not the victims and just nullify their verdict.

  4. Sylvan Finkelstein says:

    LIFE IN PRISON FOR TAKING A LIFE,AND WE HAVE TO SUPPORT HIM UNTIL HE DIES,,WHAT A JOKE THE LEGAL SYSTEM IS

    1. Kay says:

      I totally agree!!! At what point is the government going to get fed up with murderers?? I say start the death penalty and start killing off some of these people, and that does not mean let them sit on death row for years. Once you are found guilty kill them the next week or same day!!! They did not care when they took a life so why should we care about theirs?? That will save the state alot of money because we won’t have to take care of them in prison, which apparently is a JOKE to these criminals.

  5. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    IT IS U LEARN MORE IN PRISON N JAILS THEN U DO ON THE STREET I SAY HANG EM UP FROM AN OLD OAK TREE CUT THERE U NO WATS OFF AND FILL EM UP W/BUCK SHOT LET EM DIE A SLOW AN AGONIZING DEATH!!!

  6. Zeph says:

    I don’t want to pay to keep this p.o.s. alive, put him down like the rabid dog he is, and the b***h who is with him. My guess is his momma is one of those 400 lb sidewalk cows who squeezes out a litter every 9 months for more welfare.

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