HomeNewsMurder of Jam Master Jay: Federal Charges and Legal Defense

Murder of Jam Master Jay: Federal Charges and Legal Defense

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A jury reached a verdict in the murder trial of two men accused of killing Jam Master Jay, the influential DJ of Run-DMC.

The verdict was announced by U.S. District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall and was scheduled to be read at 3:30 p.m. ET on February 27, 2024.

Jason Mizell, also known as Jam Master Jay, died from gunshot wounds in his Jamaica, Queens recording studio on October 30, 2002, with his murder remaining unsolved for years, casting a shadow over the hip-hop community.

In August 2020, federal prosecutors accused Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington of his murder, connecting it to a drug deal involving 10 kilograms of cocaine intended for Maryland.

Jordan, who is Jam Master Jay’s godson, and Washington, a childhood friend of Jay, both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder. Jordan also faced several counts of narcotics distribution.

The prosecution argued that Mizell’s refusal to participate in the drug deal led to a deadly retaliation, resulting in his death.

Witness Uriel Rincon testified seeing Washington and Jordan armed in the studio, alleging Jordan shot Jay.

Defense attorneys, however, pointed to another suspect, Jay Bryant, charged in May 2023 with murder related to drug trafficking and firearm use. They argued Bryant, with DNA found on a hat at the crime scene and seen on security footage, was the actual perpetrator.

If the court convicts them, Jordan and Washington could face a minimum of 20 years in prison, with the potential for life imprisonment. Prosecutors chose not to pursue the death penalty in their case.

The trial has been complex, with talks of separate trials and dual juries due to conflicting defenses among the accused. It has attracted significant interest not only for its impact on the music industry but also for the prolonged wait for justice spanning over two decades.

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