- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday convicted a 42-year-old man on charges that he robbed and murdered New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum.

Percey Jordan Jr., of no fixed address, was convicted of all nine charges he faced, including first- and second-degree murder while armed, robbery and credit-card fraud.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of release. A sentencing hearing was set for Jan. 12.

“We obviously believe that justice has been served today,” said Marcus Rosenbaum, David Rosenbaum’s brother. “But I don’t want anyone to think this is a happy day. … It’s just a lot of wasted lives.”

The jury of 12 women began deliberations Monday and took roughly six hours to reach a verdict.

Juror Twjuana Allen told the Associated Press that the decision was difficult.

“It was just my gut instinct,” she said, adding that no arguments erupted among the jurors.

Outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, Mr. Rosenbaum’s family hugged Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines, who prosecuted the case.

“There’s never going to be complete closure,” said Daniel Rosenbaum, Mr. Rosenbaum’s son and a photographer for The Washington Times. “But it’s just one more step to begin the process of getting some of this tragedy behind us.”

Jordan’s family members, who had been in court throughout the trial, were not seen in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Michael Starr, the lawyer who represented Jordan in the case, declined to comment.

During the five-day trial, Miss Haines attempted to prove that Jordan and his cousin Michael C. Hamlin, 24, attacked and robbed Mr. Rosenbaum on the night of Jan. 6 as he walked in his Northwest neighborhood.

The cornerstone of the prosecution’s argument was the testimony of Hamlin, who pleaded guilty to charges including second-degree murder in the case and agreed to testify against Jordan as part of a plea deal.

Hamlin told jurors that the robbery was Jordan’s idea and that it was Jordan who hit the 63-year-old journalist in the head and body with a plastic pipe. The two then used Mr. Rosenbaum’s credit cards and the stolen credit cards of a Silver Spring woman to purchase items such as gas, soap and deodorant at a gas station, drugstore and grocery store.

Hamlin, who would have faced life in prison in the case, faces a maximum of 60 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 19, but he likely will receive a more lenient sentence.

Mr. Starr had attacked Hamlin’s testimony as a story that Hamlin made up to avoid a longer prison sentence.

A longtime friend of Jordan’s, who testified for the prosecution, told jurors that Jordan mentioned in the days after the attack that he and his cousin had “caught a cracker sleeping.” John Snowden admitted he was seeking a reward when he initially went to police with the story, and Mr. Starr attempted to persuade jurors to invalidate his testimony on that basis.

Jordan’s conviction also highlights another chapter in the Rosenbaum murder, which featured a series of missteps by police officers and emergency medical officials responding to the crime.

A report by the D.C. Office of the Inspector General said there was “an unacceptable chain of failure” in the response to Mr. Rosenbaum’s beating, including the mistaken prognosis by medical responders that he was drunk.

Marcus Rosenbaum said he continues to hope for improvements in the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

“Has enough been done so that won’t happen again?” he said. “I don’t know.”

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