Jam Master Jay’s death is back in the news. The trial for the murder of the American DJ and record producer, then thirty-seven years old, which occurred on 30 October 2002 in his studio in New York, began yesterday after Karl Jordan Jr and Ronald Washington were accused – in 2020 – of killing him in gunshots. Jam Master Jay was the stage name of Jason Mizell, a member of the hip hop group Run-DMC formed by rappers Joe “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
What’s behind the death of the American star
A direct blow to the head was enough to kill one of the greatest representatives of hip hop of the early 2000s. The godson and childhood friend: they were this Jordan, 40, and Washington, 59, for Jam Master Jay. Yet, a quarrel, due to a drug trafficking from which they had probably been excluded, would have unleashed the anger of the two. According to prosecutors, the artist purchased 10 kg of cocaine that Jordan, Washington and others intended to sell in Baltimore. The deal, however, fell through, taking away the possibility of a profit of two hundred thousand dollars, when one of the traders backed out. For the judicial authorities, the execution was dictated by “greed and revenge”, despite the declaration of innocence by the lawyers of the couple, who risk twenty years in prison – the death penalty was not requested. Jordan is also accused of dealing and using firearms in connection with drug trafficking, but he pleads not guilty to these crimes as well.
According to the prosecutors, at the time of the “ambush” Uriel “Tony” Rincon, who was injured, was present in addition to the victim. It would be Jordan who shot, while Washington threatened those present. The witnesses have already been interviewed and declared that the two would have confessed to others their responsibility in the murder. According to the defense, Jordan has an alibi.
Jay Bryant, the third accused, arrested in 2023, will be tried separately between 2025 and 2026. He allegedly let the couple into the study that evening in October 2002.