Merritt gets more time in Pitcairn attack

Lavelva Merritt was sentenced to an additional five years in prison Monday after a judge ruled that she violated her probation from an earlier drug case when she and a boyfriend attacked a Johns Hopkins researcher last year, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office announced.

Merritt, 25, was previously sentenced to 30 years in prison — with half of the time suspended — for robbing Stephen Pitcairn as he walked home along St. Paul Street in July 2010. Her boyfriend, John Wagner, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for stabbing Pitcairn to death during the robbery.

Wagner, 38, was also found to have violated his probation during the assault and sentenced to an additional seven years in prison last week. The probation violation terms for both defendants will be served consecutively to their other sentences.

"Thanks to the participation of Mr. Pitcairn's loved ones and the hard work of police and prosecutors, we have removed two very dangerous violent, repeat offenders from our streets. We are gratified by the outcome," State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said in a statement.

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