Reporter’s killer gets 65 years


WASHINGTON (AP) – A man was sentenced Friday to 65 years in prison for the murder of veteran New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum, who was beaten to death in a mugging near his home.

Percey Jordan Jr. offered no statement in court and avoided looking at Rosenbaum’s family during the hearing.

Jordan, 43, was convicted in October in the death of Rosenbaum, 63, who died two days after being hit in the head with a heavy plastic pipe last January. His wallet was also stolen.

Jordan’s cousin and co-defendant, Michael C. Hamlin, 24, was sentenced to 26 years in prison earlier this month after testifying that Jordan delivered the blow to the head.

Friday’s hearing drew tears from many members of Rosenbaum’s family.

“I think justice was served,” his brother Marcus said after the sentencing. “I can’t say there’s any closure. How could we ever see any closure about the death of our brother?”

Defense attorney Michael Starr had sought a sentence of no more than 30 years. He characterized the attack as a bungled robbery that resulted in an unintended death.

“Well, then, what was the intent if an individual gives up his wallet and continues to get pummeled and pummeled and pummeled?” Judge Erik Christian asked.

Starr said he intends to appeal the conviction.

The attack happened near Rosenbaum’s home in usually quiet northwest Washington, in the month after he had retired from the Times’ Washington bureau.

Rosenbaum’s family has filed a $20 million lawsuit against District of Columbia and hospital officials, and city investigators found that workers did not follow proper procedures after they initially believed Rosenbaum was intoxicated because they smelled alcohol on his breath.