Two men convicted in 2002 murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

RUN-DMC show memorial piece for Jam Master Jay at the VH1 Best in 2002 Awards^ 12/15/2002^ LA^ CA

Two men have been found guilty on all counts in the Oct. 30, 2002, murder of Jam Master Jay, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group Run-DMC, which was founded in 1983 along with Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and Darryl McDaniels. Mizell was gunned down in his studio in front of witnesses on Oct. 30, 2002.

The defendants — Karl Jordan Jr., 40, and Ronald Washington, 59, were each charged with one count of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking, as well as one count of firearm-related murder for the fatal shooting of Jam Master Jay (real name was Jason Mizell). Jordan was also charged in August 2020 with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and seven counts of cocaine distribution.  According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, each defendant is facing a minimum of 20 years to life in prison or the death penalty; both defendants had pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors claimed during the trial hat Mizell was murdered by Jordan and Washington (Mizell’s childhood friend) because Mizell was allegedly going to cut them out of a cocaine distribution deal due to the drug dealer, later identified as Ralph Mullgrav, declining to work with Washington. Mullgrav claimed that Mizell “wasn’t a drug dealer,” but had dabbled in drug sales “to make ends meet” — a claim that the DJ’s family disputes.

Attorneys for Jordan and Washington argued during closing arguments that there was no physical evidence linking their clients to the fatal shooting, and drew attention to a third man who was charged in the fatal shooting, who is expected to face trial in 2025.

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