Jury Convicts Two Men On All Counts In Jam Master Jay Murder Trial

Ronald Washington, the famed DJ’s childhood friend, and Karl Jordan Jr., his godson, face life in prison after being convicted on all charges.


More than 20 years after his death, a jury has convicted two men in the murder of RUN-DMC co-founder Jam Master Jay, CBS News reports.

The hip-hop legend, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was killed in his music studio in Hollis, Queens on Oct.30, 2002.

On Tuesday (Feb.27),  the jury ruled that Ronald Washington, his childhood friend, and Karl Jordan Jr., his godson, killed the DJ after he cut them out of a cocaine trafficking deal that he arranged with distributors in Baltimore.

When Washinton and Jordan received word that they were being excluded from the transaction, they concocted a plan to murder Mizell, per court documents.

When the verdict was announced, a fight nearly broke out as emotions spilled over from both sides.

“Y’all just killed some innocent people. Get me outta here,” Washington said.

Jordan said, “I love y’all” to his supporters. Before the courtroom erupted into chaos, both men were rushed away by law enforcement.

Following the ruling, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace expressed his satisfaction that the case had finally been solved.

"Although it appeared that the case had gone cold and would not be solved, law enforcement never wavered in its determination to bring Mr. Mizell's killers to justice," Peace said. "It's no mystery why it took so long. Witnesses were terrified that they would be retaliated against if they cooperated with law enforcement."

"It's definitely a long time coming," Carlis Thompson, Mizell's cousin, added. "Justice delayed is not always justice denied."

NYC Studio Went Chaotic After Jam Master Jay Shooting, Witness Testifies

Jordan's mother, Jacqueline Gonzalez, said she was in disbelief after the verdict.

 "My son had nothing to do with this crime," Gonzalez said. "I'm still devastated. I can't believe they found him-- from all the facts that they got from this case, I can't believe that they found him guilty."

According to testimonies from eyewitnesses, Washington guarded the door with a gun while Jordan fatally shot Mizell at point-blank range inside his studio in front of two witnesses, “while several other people sat in a nearby control room.” 

Because the witnesses feared for their lives, the case took over two decades to be solved.

“It’s no mystery why it took years to indict and arrest the defendants,” Peace said.“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.”

During the trial, the two witnesses, Lydia High, an employee at Mizell’s record label, and Uriel “Tony "Rincon, Mizell’s assistant, were crucial to the prosecution’s case.

Rincon testified that Jordan was the shooter and that he was shot in the leg in the ambush. High said that she could not see the shooter’s face, but “Washington had held her at gunpoint as the killing took place.”

Prosecutors also allege that a third suspect, Jay Bryant, gave Jordan and Washington entry to the studio through a fire escape. His separate trial is set for later this year.

Hailed as one the most iconic rap groups of all time,  RUN-DMC, comprised of Mizell, Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, and Darryl “DMC”  McDaniels, who created several groundbreaking songs such as “Sucker M.C.'s” "It's Like That," "Rock Box," "Walk This Way,” “Down With the King,” and many more.

Among the group’s many honors, in 2009, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Attorneys for two men said they would be filing appeals.

Washington and Jordan face 20 years to life in federal prison. 

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