"Why Is My Face On TV?"
According to one of the local news channels,
"A 23-year-old Southeast man has been charged with felony murder in the death of retired New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum.Video reports are available here, in the left sidebar.
"For detectives, the arrest couldn't have been much easier.
"At 5 p.m., news stations in DC ran surveillance video of a man using Rosenbaum's credit card minutes after the Jan. 6 attack in a Northwest neighborhood.
"Around 6 p.m., police say, Michael Hamlin walked into the 7th District police station 'inquiring why his face was on television,' said DC police Detective Anthony Paci...."
The Washington Post provides this additional information about Hamlin's visit to the police station:
"Hamlin walked into the police station last night wearing the same dark jacket, with his first name sewed onto a chest patch, that he had been wearing in a surveillance tape, police said."Hamlin is due to appear in court today.
It's been a strange week for crime news in D.C. Recently Marion Barry told a suspicious story about a mugging in his home. Barry's not wanting to prosecute his muggers led to wide speculation as to the circumstances; the revelation that, last fall as part of a plea agreement to failure to file accurate tax returns, he tested positive for cocaine seems to support some of that speculation. From the Washington Post:
"The news that D.C. Council member Marion Barry failed a court-ordered drug test in the fall drew sighs, prayers and a call for him to take a leave from his council seat. But at his old haunts and among his constituents, what was missing yesterday was a sense of surprise.During Barry's mayorship, he came under criticism for awarding government contracts to those who had never before had much money, but probably didn't take money for himself. After all, the last time he ran for office, in 2004, he needed the salary.
"For many, this is the fourth decade of the sometimes rocky, sometimes inspiring marriage between Barry, the former four-term mayor who now represents Ward 8 on the council, and the residents of his adopted city. If there was one feeling, it was an amalgam of sadness, empathy and deja vu....
"'He cannot help people in Ward 8 until he helps himself. That should be his number one priority,' said longtime activist Phillip Pannell, who suggested Barry take a leave of absence from the D.C. Council. 'He needs to be away from politics, away from the phone and staff, and deal with his health situation.'
"Others, however, said Barry has been productive in the last year, advocating for the city's poorest ward....
"If Barry is incarcerated, he would not have to give up his council seat and could even introduce legislation from his jail cell, but he could not cast council votes, according to D.C. Council rules.
"Barry would have to relinquish his council seat only if convicted of a felony, said Charlotte Brookins-Hudson, the council's general counsel. Barry pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor tax charge...."
Certainly Marion Barry's latest troubles are not as serious as those of Michael Hamlin. Barry is ruining his own life, but Hamlin viciously murdered a man who was just trying to go for an after-dinner walk. Surviving for a few short days, Rosenbaum died of blunt-force trauma.
I can muster some sympathy for Barry, possibly in the grip of addiction. I can't do the same for a cold-blooded murderer--and a stupid cold-blooded murderer, at that.