Two Men Convicted Of Murdering Jam Master Jay 22 Years Later

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Contributor
Font Size:

Two men have been convicted of murder for the 2002 killing of Jam Master Jay, with a Brooklyn federal jury delivering the verdict on Tuesday.

The federal court convicted Karl Jordan Jr., 40, and Ronald Washington, 59, for the murder of the legendary DJ, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was a member of the pioneering hip-hop group Run-DMC.

The verdict was met with emotional outbursts in the courtroom. Washington was in shock and accused the jury of convicting innocent men, while Jordan’s supporters also voiced their disapproval.

Mizell was murdered in his own studio on Oct. 30, 2002. Jordan was the godchild of the DJ, while Washington was staying with the DJ’s sister, THR noted. The two were apprehended and charged in 2020, but have maintained their innocence throughout the proceedings. (RELATED: ‘8 Mile’ Rapper Supa Emcee Arrested For Wife’s Murder, Police Say: REPORT)

“Twenty years is a long time to wait for justice,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Artie McConnell said in his concluding remarks. “Don’t let this go on for another minute.”

For years, rumors and suspicions had swirled around the two men in connection with the case. Authorities officially identified Washington as a suspect in 2007. He had previously admitted in a 2003 interview with Playboy magazine that he was outside the studio at the time of the shooting and saw “Little D” — a nickname for Jordan — fleeing the scene, the outlet reported. The prosecution argued that the motive for the attack on the rap icon was a dispute over a cocaine transaction.

Despite Mizell’s public stance against drug use, prosecutors and witnesses during the trial portrayed him as having been involved in drug dealing, allegedly to manage his debts and continue financially supporting his friends, THR reported.

The trial revealed, through testimony from prosecution witnesses, that Mizell intended to buy and distribute 10 kilograms of cocaine, with Jordan, Washington and a Baltimore dealer involved. The plan ultimately failed when the dealer from Baltimore decided not to work with Washington, after which Washington and Jordan targeted Mizell, prosecutors claimed, according to THR.