Both men guilty of all charges in Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay murder trial in New York

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Jury convicts 2 men in Jam Master Jay murder trial
Jim Dolan has the latest details.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- A Brooklyn federal court jury on Tuesday convicted two men, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, in the 2002 shooting death of Jason Mizell, better known as Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC.

Both men were found guilty as charged.

The jury sided with prosecutors who said that, prior to his murder, Mizell sought to exclude Washington from a multi-kilogram narcotics transaction. In retaliation, Washington and Jordan conspired to murder and ultimately killed the rap pioneer.

In addition to his music career, the trial established Mizell was involved in transporting cocaine for retail sale. In July 2002, Mizell acquired approximately ten kilograms of cocaine from a supplier in the Midwest. The cocaine was meant for distribution in Maryland by Washington, Jordan and other co-conspirators. A dispute between Washington and one of the co-conspirators resulted in Mizell telling Washington he would be cut out of the deal.

On October 30, 2002, Mizell and several others were present at his recording studio, 24/7 Studio, located on Merrick Boulevard in Queens. At 7:30 p.m., Washington and Jordan, armed with firearms, entered the studio. Each brandished a firearm. Washington pointed his firearm at one of the individuals located inside the studio and demanded that the person lay on the floor. Jordan approached Mizell, pointed his firearm at him, and fired two shots at close range.

The two people who were within feet of Mizell when he was shot in the head, gave highly emotional, tearful testimony.

A second shooting victim, Tony Rincon, testified that Jordan "walked directly to Jay, kind of gave him half a handshake and at the same time, that's when I hear a couple of shots. I see Jay just fall."

Defense attorneys, however, poked holes in the evidence -- or lack thereof -- in the 21-year-old cold case. No gun was ever recovered.

The crime scene unit didn't process the alleged point of entry, the back door, and the only DNA found at the scene was that of a third suspect charged in the case, not Jordan or Washington.

The defendants immediately signaled their intent to appeal their convictions but federal prosecutors expressed confidence in the jury's verdict finding the two men guilty of murder in cold blood.

Darla Miles has more.

"The violent loss of Mr. Mizell traumatized his family and devastated legions of Run-DMC fans around the world," US Attorney Breon Peace said. "Today's verdict cannot bring Mr. Mizell back but my sincere hope is that it brings some solace and closure to his family, his friends and all those who loved and appreciated him."

Peace expressed his admiration for the witnesses who came forward after more than 20 years to testify.

"The witnesses in the recording studio knew the killers but were terrified they would be retaliated against," Peace said.

"Jason, himself, was an amazing talent. His life ended far, far too soon," Mizell's first cousin Carlis Thompson said following the verdict. "I'm just glad that justice was served."

Darla Miles joins the Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 teams to talk about the verdict.

WATCH | Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case

ABC7's Darla Miles reveals exclusive new details and insights into the complicated legacy of the rap pioneer in our documentary, "Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case."


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