updated 1/3/2007 6:32:24 PM ET 2007-01-03T23:32:24

One of two men who killed a veteran New York Times journalist was sentenced Wednesday to 26 years in prison.

Michael C. Hamlin, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Jan. 6, 2006, attack on retired New York Times reporter David E. Rosenbaum and had testified against his cousin and co-defendant Percey Jordan, 42.

A jury convicted Jordan in October of first-degree murder, and he is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, when he could get life in prison without parole.

Rosenbaum, 63, had retired from the Times shortly before he was beaten to death near his Washington home. The attackers hit Rosenbaum in the head with a heavy plastic pipe and stole his wallet. He died two days later.

“It’s one of those things that nobody can imagine ever going through,” Rosenbaum’s son, Daniel, said outside the courthouse. “Obviously it was a very senseless act. ... It’s something we’ll be living with forever.”

The murder exposed problems with city emergency procedures after first responders failed to assess Rosenbaum’s injuries. Rosenbaum’s children have filed a $20 million lawsuit against the city and Howard University Hospital, claiming negligence contributed to his death.

Emergency workers initially believed that Rosenbaum was drunk because they smelled alcohol on his breath, and they did not try to determine whether he was injured, according to a report from city investigators.

Rosenbaum waited 90 minutes to see a physician and four hours for a neurological exam, the lawsuit asserts.

A spokeswoman for the District of Columbia attorney’s office wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit. A message left Wednesday with a university spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit. A message left Wednesday with a university spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

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