- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2006

2:10 p.m.

Two men accused of killing a New York Times journalist pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy and other crimes this morning in D.C. Superior Court.

Michael Cleveland Hamlin, 23, of Southeast, and Percy Jordan Jr., 42, of no fixed address, have been in custody since January after they were accused in the fatal robbery of retired reporter and editor David Rosenbaum, 63.

An indictment unsealed earlier this week also formally charged both men with conspiracy and two other holdups, including one the same day Mr. Rosenbaum was attacked in Northwest.

Meanwhile, D.C. Fire Chief Adrian H. Thompson this morning responded to a D.C. inspector general report that says emergency responders committed multiple failures on the night Mr. Rosenbaum was fatally beaten and robbed.

Chief Thompson told WTOP Radio that the report points out some glaring problems with the performance of emergency personnel in the field.

He also promised to implement a more comprehensive system for first responders to document what they do in the field.

Mr. Rosenbaum died at Howard University Hospital two days after the Jan. 6 attack.

The report concludes that firefighters and medics didn’t properly assess Mr. Rosenbaum’s condition and that an ambulance driver got lost on the way to the scene.

It also states that nurses at the hospital failed to follow patient care standards.

The report also says police didn’t secure the scene or conduct an adequate preliminary investigation.

It cites “apathy, indifference, and complacency” even during some interviews conducted by the Office of the Inspector General.

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams said he has reviewed the report and agrees that significant reforms are needed.

Mr. Hamlin inadvertently turned himself in at the Metropolitan Police Department’s 7th District station Jan. 12. His cousin, Mr. Jordan, turned himself in the next day.

During today’s arraignment, the prosecutor sought to have Mr. Hamlin and Mr. Jordan tried separately, but Judge Erik Christian didn’t rule on the motion.

Judge Christian set a status hearing for August.

The Rosenbaum family was in court today, and family members say they are reviewing the report. They have planned a press conference for this afternoon.

Mr. Rosenbaum, who grew up in Tampa, Fla., began his career as an intern at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

He spent more than three decades at the New York Times, working mostly in the newspaper’s Washington bureau.

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