BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Justice for the family of a Johns Hopkins researcher killed last summer. A jury found John Wagner guilty in the murder of Stephen Pitcairn.

Meghan McCorkell has the reaction to the verdict.

Charles Village was rocked by the killing of Stephen Pitcairn. Signs of the crime are still evident there. But Thursday, there’s a sigh of relief as his killer is put behind bars.

John Wagner was shackled and surrounded by police as he left court, and he could be that way for the rest of life.

“Justice is served,” said Stephen Pitcairn’s father as he walked out of the courthouse.

It’s the end of an emotional trial for the family of Stephen Pitcairn. The 23-year old was stabbed to death last summer during a robbery in Charles Village. Fresh flowers mark the spot where he died. Neighbors say they’re relieved his killer is behind bars.

“I’m really happy about it,” said Rob Holthause, a resident of Charles Village. “I’m glad that he got what was coming to him because it’s just senseless.”

“I just wish people wouldn’t harm each other,” Gregory Vershbow said. “I mean, I’m glad that he’s off the streets.”

Jurors say overwhelming evidence against Wagner led to the conviction.

“I don’t think it was just one individual piece,” said the jury foreman. “I think it was several.”

Stephen Pitcairn’s blood was found on John Wagner’s front door and on a knife found inside. The security camera around the block also obtained a key piece of evidence.

It captured John Wagner and his girlfriend Lavelva Merritt running away from the crime scene toward their Maryland Avenue apartment. Lavelva Merritt testified against Wagner.

“These kind of crimes happen very rarely around here,” Vinny Demarco, another resident of Charles Village, said. “It’s a safe neighborhood and it will continue to be that way.”

The community of Charles Village is working to restore that sense of safety. But they will never forget what happened here.

It took the jury less than three hours to convict John Wagner.

Defense attorneys say they plan to appeal the conviction.

Wagner will be sentenced in October. The city state’s attorney tells WJZ he will seek life in prison.

Comments (10)
  1. Tom says:

    Why does WJZ have a comment section if all they do is delete everything?

  2. Madman says:

    Certainly a case for the death penalty.

  3. Robert says:

    I wonder how this murderer will feel if he catches cancer. That would be justice.

  4. Amanda Plaine says:

    @ Jim I really hope that was a sarcastic comment if not you’re a moron

  5. urnotfunny says:

    The only justice would be to put him to death. Another piece of trash with no life, so he takes a life of a person who was contributing to society, minding his own business. He gave his wallet, but that wasn’t good enough for the criminal.

  6. JIM DECK says:

    no baltimore is way to hard on black males . its not there fought that they are always in trouble, cut them a little slack, they don’t really have a chance in america

  7. Amanda Plaine says:

    @ Jim you must be freaking joking, a mistake would be to bump into the victim the act of stabbing this man to death is no mistake. I got an idea it is there FAULT some of them are always in trouble get off it life is hard for all of us but that doesn’t give anyone the right to rob & stab a young man to death simply because life is hard. I work my a** off for what I have which isn’t much I suggest you do the same. So no I won’t cut him any slack he murdered a young man with a bright future ahead of him for what? a couple of bucks and an iphone please do me a favor and get a clue

  8. Tom says:

    Guys, Jim is some fat pimply kid with nothing better to do. Don’t feed the troll.

  9. JIM DECK says:

    this man is a product of his society, show some compassion on this black man

  10. Jerry says:

    Hey Jim let’s show him the same compassion he showed when he killed the guy.
    He is not a product of society , he’s part of the problem. Instead of committing crimes why the hell don’t they do something to help society instead of selling drugs ,
    robbing stores , robbing people on the street and murder . So saying he’s a product of society is a joke. Just like a few month’s ago when some teenagers beat up a person on the light rail. They were found guilty and on the way to jail ( where they belong ) the family was out there and said we’re proud of you. Is that a product of society NO THAT CALLED NO REGARD FOR OTHER PEOPLE!!!!!!. If they want to act like animals treat them like animals.
    JIM WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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