- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An 18-year-old man arrested early Tuesday after police caught him in a Jeep belonging to an American University professor slain a day earlier was a ward of the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, The Washington Times has learned.

Deandrew Hamlin was arrested just after midnight, when police located the stolen 1999 Jeep Cherokee near New Jersey Avenue and M Street in Northwest Washington. Mr. Hamlin led police on a brief chase before crashing the Jeep. He was taken to a hospital after the crash and was charged with driving a stolen vehicle.

D.C. Metropolitan Police said the Jeep belonged to Sue Ann Marcum, 52, an American University professor found dead in her Montgomery County home a day earlier. Mr. Hamlin has not been charged in connection with Ms. Marcum’s killing.

Montgomery County Police are treating Ms. Marcum’s death as a homicide in connection with a burglary. Capt. Paul Starks said Montgomery County police questioned Mr. Hamlin about how he came into possession of the car and whether he had any information about the burglary.

Officers responded at 10:52 a.m. Monday after a friend found Ms. Marcum’s body on the lower level of her home in the 6200 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Glen Echo. Police said they found signs of a break-in and struggle at the house. Ms. Marcum’s Jeep was missing.

A search of court records in Maryland and the District revealed no criminal history for Mr. Hamlin, who turned 18 in recent weeks. But official sources with knowledge of his criminal history confirmed on the condition of anonymity that Mr. Hamlin had a juvenile record that included car theft and destruction of property and was under the supervision of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

Department spokesman Reggie Sanders declined to comment on Mr. Hamlin’s status, citing confidentiality laws. The department is a Cabinet-level juvenile justice agency charged with administering detention, commitment and aftercare services.

Ms. Marcum had taught at American University’s Kogod School of Business since 1999 and directed the master’s degree accounting program. Prior to that, she was the tax director for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. On Tuesday, AU Associate Dean Lawrence Ward described Miss Marcum as an exceptional teacher with deep ties to the business and accounting world.

“Sue was an extraordinary educator,” Mr. Ward said. “She was the professor business and accounting students couldn’t wait to introduce to their parents and the professor they wanted to write their recommendations. Her reach went beyond that of a faculty member. She was well known among public accounting firms and in professional associations. She was well thought of and well loved.”

In the past year, the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services has been plagued by a pattern of crimes committed by and against youths under the agency’s supervision. In addition, some of its wards have been involved in an alarming number of homicides in the past year.

In April, three of the department’s wards were charged with killing popular D.C. school Principal Brian Betts. Mr. Betts, 42, was found April 15 fatally shot in an upstairs bedroom of his Silver Spring home. His credit cards were taken and used fraudulently. His sport utility vehicle was stolen and located days later some 14 miles away in the District.

In September, a youth also in the custody of the agency was charged in the fatal shooting of Catholic University student Neil Godleski, 31, who was riding his bicycle at about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 in Sherman Circle in Northwest Washington when he was hit several times.

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