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DNA Evidence Examined In John Wagner’s Murder Trial

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Prosecutors continue to try to build their case against the Baltimore man accused of killing a young Johns Hopkins Researcher during a robbery.

Gigi Barnett has the latest testimony.

One of the witnesses who took the stand was an expert from the Baltimore City Crime Lab. They went over hours of evidence Friday, because all of it is under scrutiny.

After nearly a week of testimony, it’s Day 4 in the trial of 38-year-old John Wagner, accused of stabbing and killing Johns Hopkins Researcher Stephen Pitcairn. Friday, the trial turned to technology.

Prosecutors questioned Baltimore Crime Lab expert Ryan Coley about the evidence collected at the crime scene, about the knife allegedly used to kill Pitcairn and about blood stains found on the victim’s body.

Wagner’s defense team questioned the handling of the evidence, from the crime scene to the lab. With more than 60 items collected, the log of evidence is long. Wagner watched. The jury listened. Wagner and his 25-year-old girlfriend Lavelva Merritt are accused of killing Pitcairn last summer as he walked to his Charles Village apartment from Penn Station.

Merritt testified against Wagner Thursday telling the jury that after the stabbing Wagner said: “I think I stabbed him twice. I think I hurt that white boy pretty bad.”

Also on the stand today, Howard Michael Martin. He is a former housemate of Merritt and Wagner, and he told the jury that he saw the couple coming back to the house shortly after they allegedly robbed and stabbed Pitcairn.

The trial resumes Monday.

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