Wagner, convicted in Stephen Pitcairn killing, files appeal

John Wagner, who was convicted of murder in the 2010 stabbing death of a Johns Hopkins researcher and sentenced to life in prison, has — as promised — filed appeals in his case.

The 38-year-old refused to accept responsibility for the crime during his sentencing last month in Baltimore Circuit Court, saying he wasn't "apologetic" because he "had no part in it."

"There's still a killer out there," Wagner said. His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Gregory Fischer, vowed to appeal on Wagner's behalf.

Fischer could not be reached Saturday, but public records confirm that Wagner filed documents with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals last week.

Wagner was convicted in August of stabbing Stephen Pitcairn to death during a robbery last year, as the young man walked home along St. Paul Street while talking to his mother on a cell phone.

The case captured the city's attention and led to cries for change in the justice system. Wagner has a criminal record that goes back two decades. He was on probation for cases in Baltimore County and the city when he and his girlfriend Lavelva Merritt attacked Pitcairn, who was two days shy of his 24th birthday.

Merritt was sentenced this month to 30 years in prison for robbery under a plea deal struck in May, though half the time was suspended, making her eligible for parole in roughly six years.


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