Mom Was on Phone With Jupiter Man When Robbers Killed Him in Baltimore

Cynthia Roldan, Palm Beach Post, July 26, 2010

Baltimore police say John Wagner and Lavelva Merritt were “hunting to rob someone” on Sunday night.

Around 11:30, they ran into Stephen Pitcairn.

The Jupiter man, a Johns Hopkins University researcher with dreams of finding the cure to breast cancer, was walking on Baltimore’s north side talking on the phone with his mother.

Wagner and Merritt found their perfect, distracted “someone,” police said in court records filed Tuesday .

Even after he followed the two career criminals’ orders, police allege that one of them stabbed him in the chest. All the while his mother, Gwen Pitcairn, listened as her son–just two days shy of his 24th birthday–pleaded with the robbers .

Afterward, the pair went home, apparently so proud of what they had done they bragged to witnesses, saying they had robbed and “hurt” a “white boy,” according to the court records.

Pitcairn was pronounced dead around midnight at John Hopkins Hospital.

On Monday morning, a police SWAT team raided Wagner and Merritt’s place at 2700 Baltimore Ave. and arrested the pair without incident. Police found blood at the front door, bloody shoes and Pitcairn’s brown wallet and iPhone in the house.

After being taken in for questioning, Merritt and Wagner gave statements that were “completely contradictory to one another,” police say.

Wagner, 34, and Merritt, 24, are expected to be arraigned this morning on murder, robbery and assault charges, according to the court records.

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Wagner

Merritt

 John Wagner (left) and Lavelva Merritt. 

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