Nearly two decade old murder mystery of Run-DMC Star ‘Jam Master Jay’ solved as two men are charged
Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell was shot to death by two gunmen who buzzed into his second-floor recording studio October 30, 2002 in the Queens, NY
Another man was shot in the leg and police at the time said they found no motive
Nearly 18 years later federal prosecutors said they have solved one of New York City’s most enduring mysteries
Officials said Monday that Mizell’s murder was drug related
Feds have charged two men from his own neighborhood with murder and suggesting that the hip-hop artist celebrated for his anti-drug stance, was actually ambushed over a cocaine deal
The two suspects were identified in court papers as Ronald Washington, 56, and Karl Jordan Jr., 36
Feds and NYPD said the ‘trigger man’ was Karl K. Jordan Jr., who along with alleged accomplice, Ronald Washington, were charged with murder and narcotics trafficking Monday
Mizell allegedly, had been running drugs with the men for six years
The shooting occurred after Mizell threatened to cut the of the Washington out of an impending drug deal on Oct. 30, 2002
Washington allegedly, waved a handgun and ordered another person at the recording studio to lie on the ground while Jordan shot Mizell in the head
Along with his long rap sheet Washington is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies while on the run from police after Jay’s 2002 death
Jordan Jr. was also charged with engaging in a cocaine distribution conspiracy in 2017
If convicted, Washington and Jordan each face a mandatory minimum of 20 years to life in prison, or the death penalty
Nearly 18 years after the slaying of Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay, federal prosecutors said they have solved one of New York City’s most enduring mysteries, charging two men from his own neighborhood with murder and suggesting that the hip-hop artist, celebrated for his anti-drug stance, was ambushed over a cocaine deal.
Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, was shot to death by two gunmen who buzzed into his second-floor recording studio October 30, 2002 in Queens, New York, according to police.
Another man was shot in the leg and police say they have found no motive.
The suspects were identified in court papers as Ronald Washington, 56, and Karl Jordan Jr., 36.
Washington is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies while on the run from police after Jay’s 2002 death, while Jordan Jr. is also charged with engaging in a cocaine distribution conspiracy in 2017.
Arraigned Tuesday, Ronald Washington who for all of the 18 years has been eyed as a possible suspect in the 2002 fatal shooting of the hip-hop pioneer, pled not guilty, and remained in federal custody where he is already serving a prison sentence for robbery.
The suspect entered his plea remotely from Kentucky, while his attorney and the federal prosecutors appeared by teleconference as part of coronavirus prevention measures.
Karl Jordan Jr. earlier pled not guilty at his arraignment on Monday, the day federal prosecutors announced the indictment.
Jay was 37 years old when he was killed, shot once in the head with a .40-caliber bullet by a masked assailant at his studio in the Hollis section of Queens.
The police believe that back in 2002, Jay was in possession of 10 kgs of cocaine that was to be distributed by both Washington and Jordan in Maryland. However, it is believed that they killed him in cold blood when he cut them out of the deal.
Police identified at least four people in the studio with Jay when he was killed, including the two armed gunmen, but the case was cold for years, even with the $60,000 reward money on offer, as witnesses refused to come forward.
Possible suspects at the time included Karl “Little D” Jordan Jr., Darren “Big D” Jordan. Big D was an executive at Def Jam Records. Little D, now accused of the murder aged nearly 37, was a hip-hop artist and would have been about 18 or younger at the time.
The father and son were friends with Jay and knew him from the neighborhood. Police questioned Karl Jordan Jr., but he was released and not charged until this week.
Jason “Jay” Mizell, known professionally as Jam Master Jay, formed Run-DMC with Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniel in the early 1980s.
Together, they helped take hip-hop mainstream with hits like “It’s Tricky” and the Aerosmith remake collaboration “Walk This Way.”
Jay’s death, following the long unsolved slayings of rappers Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace in New York City in 1997, shook the hip-hop world. Chuck D of Public Enemy compared his death to that of John Lennon.
Washington, who had reportedly been living on a couch at Jay’s home in the days before the killing, was publicly named as a possible suspect or witness as far back as 2007.
Prosecutors allege he waved a handgun and ordered another person at the recording studio to lie on the ground while Jordan shot Jay in the head Oct. 30, 2002.