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Researcher’s Murder Trial Focuses On DNA Evidence

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– After a emotional start to the trial of accused killer John Wagner Wednesday focused on the evidence.

Monique Griego has the latest from inside the court room.

Wednesday, we heard a lot of testimony about blood and DNA evidence found at Wagner’s home. The defense tried to poke holes in how well that evidence was collected.

It’s a crime that shocked the Baltimore community– 23-year-old Stephen Pitcairn was robbed and stabbed to death in a Charles Village neighborhood while walking home.

John Wagner is now standing trial accused of the crime. Investigators say he and his alleged girlfriend Lavelva Merritt robbed Pitcairn for drug money. WJZ spoke with one of Pitcairn’s neighbors.

“It was just chilling, the description of the knifing of Stephen Pitcairn,” said Pitcairn’s neighbor.

Wednesday, prosecutors showed the jury evidence collected from Wagner’s home, it included bloody Nikes and several knives. The defense tried to poke holes in how well police collected that evidence.

‘If the evidence shows him guilty, then I want to see him put away because the last thing I want is him on the street,” Pitcairn’s neighbor said.

Wagner’s alleged accomplice Lavelva Merritt is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution. She cut a deal and got 15 years in exchange for pleading guilty to robbery.

Stephen Pitcairn’s mother Gwen Pitcairn, who was on the phone with him when he was attacked, took the stand Tuesday. She tearfully described hearing the robbery, then how her son went silent after being stabbed in the heart.

The trial is expected to go through next week.

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