WASHINGTON – A second suspect in the beating death of veteran New York Times reporter David E. Rosenbaum was arrested Friday night and charged with felony murder.
The suspect, Percy Jordan Jr., is a cousin of Michael Hamlin, who was arrested Thursday and was also charged with felony murder in Rosenbaum's death. Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. John Johnson would not comment on whether Hamlin gave his cousin's name to police or whether Jordan had confessed.
Jordan will be arraigned Saturday, Johnson said.
Earlier Friday, Rosenbaum was remembered Friday by journalists and lawmakers as a quiet hero of his profession.
Rosenbaum, 63, died Sunday, two days after he was beaten and robbed in his usually quiet Northwest Washington neighborhood.
"I have spent a week trying to come to grips with everything," Philip Taubman, The New York Times' Washington bureau chief, told a standing room-only audience at a memorial service on Capitol Hill. "It was unfathomable, unthinkable, unspeakable."
Taubman said it was easier to make sense of Rosenbaum's life as a devoted husband, father and journalist whose career spanned eight presidencies over 37 years as a Times reporter and editor.
Hamlin, 23, of Washington, turned himself in to police after seeing television broadcasts of a surveillance videotape that allegedly showed him using a credit card stolen from Rosenbaum. Hamlin later confessed to being one of two men who beat Rosenbaum with a metal pipe and robbed him, police said.
In his initial appearance Friday in District of Columbia Superior Court, Hamlin pleaded innocent to first-degree felony murder and was ordered held without bond. His next court appearance is Jan. 25.
"This is one of the most senseless and vicious crimes in recent memory," said Amanda Haines, an assistant U.S. attorney.
In arguing for Hamlin's release, defense attorney Stephen B. Mercer noted that his client's first reported use of the stolen credit card came before the attack on Rosenbaum was reported to police. He said the only conclusion that could be drawn from Hamlin's decision to go to police on his own was that he was innocent. Mercer also disputed whether his client had confessed to police.
At the memorial service, Rosenbaum was recalled as a quiet hero of his profession.
Reading a statement from Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, who could not attend the service, Taubman said Rosenbaum "was not a pundit or a showoff.
"In a city that breeds cynicism, he was not a cynic."
Rosenbaum's brother, Marcus, a journalist with National Public Radio, said he was thankful for the crowd of friends and supporters who attended the service, including television journalist Cokie Roberts, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and many others.
The family declined to discuss the arrest.
Rosenbaum, who grew up in Tampa, Fla., began his career as an intern at The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. At the New York Times, he spent all but three years in the Washington bureau. He described his specialty as coverage of the intersection of economics, politics and government policy.
He retired last month.