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Suspects in Charles Village killing were "hunting to rob someone"

Baltimore homicide detectives investigating Sunday night's stabbing death of a Johns Hopkins researcher in Charles Village recovered the victim's wallet and iPhone in a house they raided on Maryland Avenue, according to police charging documents.

In addition, the court papers say that the defendants made statements to the witnesses that they were "hunting to rob someone" and that they "robbed and 'hurt' a 'white boy.' "; The two witnesses identified the suspects in taped interviews and picked their mug shots from photo arrays, police said.

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John Wagner, 34, and Levelva Merritt, 24, were arrested hours after Stephen Pitcairn was robbed and stabbed in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. on Sunday night. He had been walking home from Penn Station after a weekend trip from New York and was attacked four blocks from his house.

Police quickly identified suspects and raided a house on Maryland Avenue just a few blocks from the killing. They have not divulged what led them to the rowhouse or whether they were able to trace the victim's cell phone using GPS tracking.

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The charging documents state that detectives searched a second-floor apartment and found both suspects in a front bedroom. The documents state detectives recovered:

Both defendants have long criminal records. Wagner has been convicted of assault and robbery but has not served jail or prison time beyond time served, even after being convicted of violating the terms of his probation.

The Sun's Justin Fenton discovered this through court files and interviews:

Here are the charging documents in connection with the fatal stabbing:

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