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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Two Men Found Guilty in Murder Case of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Almost 22 Years Post His Demise


NEW YORK‌ —⁢ A verdict was reached on Tuesday, convicting two men for the murder of Jam ‌Master Jay, a member of the‍ iconic rap ‌group Run-DMC. The infamous 2002 shooting took place⁤ in the legendary rapper’s studio.

The Brooklyn federal⁣ jury, whose identities were kept anonymous, found Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington guilty of‍ the murder.⁤ Prosecutors argued that the motive behind the killing was retaliation for a botched drug deal.

Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was a pivotal figure in the ⁣hip-hop scene during⁢ the 1980s. As a member of Run-DMC, he played a significant role in bringing hip-hop into the​ mainstream ​pop music‍ scene.‍ The group was known ‌for hits like “It’s ⁤Tricky” and their unique rendition of Aerosmith’s “Walk This‌ Way.”

The murder of‌ Jam Master Jay, much like the⁣ killings of Tupac Shakur and​ the Notorious B.I.G.⁣ in ⁢the ‌late 1990s, remained a mystery for years. Despite numerous tips and rumors, authorities struggled to find witnesses​ willing to come forward.

Breon Peace, the leading federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, explained the‍ difficulty in solving the case. “The witnesses in the recording studio ‍knew the killers, and they were terrified that they would be retaliated against if they cooperated with law enforcement and identified‍ the ruthless executioners of Mr. Mizell. But their strength and resolve​ in testifying at this trial were a triumph of ⁢right ‌over ‌wrong and courage over fear.”

Interestingly, Jordan, 40, was the godson of the renowned DJ, while Washington, 59, was ​a long-time friend who was staying at the DJ’s sister’s house. Both men ⁤were arrested in 2020 ‌and pleaded not⁤ guilty.

Following the guilty verdict, Washington expressed his outrage at the​ jury, shouting, “Y’all just ⁢killed two innocent people.” Jordan’s supporters also voiced ‍their ⁤anger at the⁣ verdict, with Jordan⁢ expressing his love⁢ for​ them before they ‍were escorted out of the courtroom by U.S. Marshals.

The defense attorneys for both men⁣ have formally‍ requested​ the judge to overturn‍ the jury’s⁣ guilty verdict and acquit them. ⁢”We’re optimistic,” said Susan Kellman, one of⁤ Washington’s lawyers. “My client‌ did not do this.‍ And the‍ jury heard testimony ​about the ⁤person who did.”

Both men’s⁢ names⁤ have⁤ been associated with the case⁢ for years. Washington was publicly named as​ a suspect in 2007. In a 2003 interview with Playboy magazine, he claimed ‍to have been outside ⁣the studio when the shooting ‍occurred and saw “Little D” — one of Jordan’s aliases — fleeing the scene.

Despite Run-DMC’s anti-drug message, ‍Mizell was⁢ reportedly involved in the⁣ drug trade to cover his debts and maintain his generous lifestyle. “He was a man who got ⁢involved in the drug game​ to take care of the people who depended on him,” said Assistant U.S. ⁢Attorney Artie McConnell.

According to the prosecution, Mizell had planned‌ to ‍acquire 10 kilograms of ‍cocaine ‍and distribute it ⁤through Jordan, ⁤Washington, and a dealer based in Baltimore. However, the Baltimore dealer refused to work ⁣with ​Washington, leading to the alleged retaliation.

Two​ eyewitnesses, Uriel Rincon, a former studio aide, and Lydia High,‍ Mizell’s former business manager, testified that Washington blocked the door‌ and ordered ⁣High to lie on the floor while brandishing ⁣a gun. Rincon identified Jordan as the man who greeted Mizell moments before the shooting.

Other witnesses testified that both​ Washington and Jordan made ​incriminating statements about the murder after​ it occurred.‍ However, their lawyers questioned the credibility and memory ‌of these witnesses, noting that some initially denied ‌being able to identify the attackers.

The trial also shed light on a third‍ defendant, Jay Bryant, who was charged last year after his DNA‌ was found on a hat⁣ at the scene. Bryant has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a separate trial.

Despite the case potentially tarnishing Mizell’s image, J. Christopher​ Hamilton, a media professor at Syracuse University, argues that his achievements should still be recognized. “If he was indeed involved in dealing drugs, that ‌doesn’t mean to ⁢say his achievements shouldn’t be lauded,” said Hamilton.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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