- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday began deliberations in the trial of a man accused of killing New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum.

Percey Jordan Jr., 42, is facing charges including felony murder, conspiracy and credit-card fraud stemming from the death of Mr. Rosenbaum, who was walking outside his home in Northwest Jan. 6 to cure a case of the hiccups when he was attacked and robbed. He died two days later from his injuries.

The 12-member predominantly white jury is made up entirely of women. The panel began deliberating at about 2:15 p.m., and was dismissed by Judge Erik P. Christian at 4:45 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

The trial largely has focused on the testimony of Mr. Jordan’s cousin, Michael C. Hamlin, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy charges in the case.

Hamlin, 24, testified that the robbery was Mr. Jordan’s idea and that Mr. Jordan struck Mr. Rosenbaum in the head with a hard, plastic pipe.

During closing arguments yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines compared the evidence against Mr. Jordan to “bricks in a wall.”

She said surveillance photos and credit-card statements show that Mr. Jordan and his cousin robbed Mr. Rosenbaum and later used his credit cards along with the stolen credit cards of a Silver Spring woman to purchase items at a gas station, drugstore and grocery store. Hamlin testified that he used Mr. Rosenbaum’s cards while Mr. Jordan used the woman’s cards.

“You have a solid wall of proof,” Miss Haines told the jurors. “And the writing is now on the wall for Mr. Jordan.”

Miss Haines also argued for the credibility of Hamlin’s testimony, which defense lawyer Michael Starr said was selfishly motivated and made up to save himself from serving life in prison.

“They tried to give Michael Hamlin a makeover for this trial, but you can’t buy it because it doesn’t match up with his actions,” Mr. Starr said.

Mr. Starr reminded jurors that Hamlin repeatedly lied to police after he turned himself in and argued that police led him to implicate his cousin in the slaying.

He also attacked the credibility of prosecution witness John Snowden, a longtime friend of Mr. Jordan who is on parole. Snowden said Mr. Jordan mentioned the crime to him five days after the incident took place.

Mr. Starr said Snowden was motivated to tell the story to police by the possibility of getting reward money.

Deliberations are set to resume at 10 a.m. today.


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