Home US Jury reaches verdict in Jam Master Jay murder trial

Jury reaches verdict in Jam Master Jay murder trial

by Jack
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Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was part of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. He was shot to death inside a recording studio in Queens in 2022

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Jurors have reached a verdict in the New York murder trial of Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay.

The decision is expected to be read at 3:30 pm EST following the week-long trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Karl Jordan and Ronald Washington are accused of killing Jam Master Jay, whose real name is Jason Mizell, co-founder of the hip-hop group in the 1980s, during a drug deal.

If convicted, the two men face at least 20 years behind bars and a maximum of life in prison.

Prosecutors say Mizell was killed in October 2002 during a cocaine deal gone bad.

Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was part of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. He was shot to death inside a recording studio in Queens in 2022

Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was part of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. He was shot to death inside a recording studio in Queens in 2022

Karl Jordan Jr., now 40, the hip-hop star's godson, is on trial for the murder of Jam Master Jay

Karl Jordan Jr., now 40, the hip-hop star's godson, is on trial for the murder of Jam Master Jay

Ronald Washington, 59 years old

Ronald Washington, 59 years old

Karl Jordan Jr. (left), now 40, the hip-hop star’s godson, is on trial for the murder of Jam Master Jay. He is being tried alongside co-defendant Ronald Washington (right), 59.

The case has been unsolved for more than two decades, and prosecutors charged Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr., the alleged shooter, with murder in 2020.

In their respective closing arguments Wednesday, the defense teams said a third person, Jay Bryant, was in fact Mizell’s killer.

Prosecutors accuse Bryant of allowing Mizell’s killers into the musician’s studio, where he was shot to death, but say Bryant was complicit in the larger conspiracy, rather than the shooter himself.

He will be tried separately at a later date.

Defense teams noted that Bryant’s hat was discovered at the crime scene and say the focus should be on him, not his clients.

Attorney Michael Hueston, representing Jordan, worked to find gaps and point out inconsistencies in witness testimony, urging jurors that reasonable doubt remained about Jordan and Washington’s involvement in the murder.

“This is an attempt to make a mockery of the judicial system,” said Susan Kellman, an attorney for the Washington team. “They don’t have a case against anyone except Jay Bryant.”

But in their rebuttal, prosecutors reiterated their arguments that Jordan and Washington were actually executioners who ambushed Mizell as part of a drug dispute.

Mizell worked on the turntables alongside rappers Joe 'Run' Simmons and Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels as the group helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream in the 1980s with hits like 'It's Tricky' and a new version of 'Walk This' by Aerosmith. A far cry from the best-selling album of 1986, Raising Hell.

Mizell worked on the turntables alongside rappers Joe 'Run' Simmons and Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels as the group helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream in the 1980s with hits like 'It's Tricky' and a new version of 'Walk This' by Aerosmith. A far cry from the best-selling album of 1986, Raising Hell.

Mizell worked on the turntables alongside rappers Joe ‘Run’ Simmons and Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels as the group helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream in the 1980s with hits like ‘It’s Tricky’ and a new version of ‘Walk This’ by Aerosmith. A far cry from the best-selling album of 1986, Raising Hell.

Mizell was at his recording studio in Hollis, the Queens neighborhood on the east side of New York City where he and the two defendants grew up.

Mizell was at his recording studio in Hollis, the Queens neighborhood on the east side of New York City where he and the two defendants grew up.

Mizell was at his recording studio in Hollis, the Queens neighborhood on the east side of New York City where he and the two defendants grew up.

A gun was found outside the crime scene and was part of the evidence shown to the jury.

A gun was found outside the crime scene and was part of the evidence shown to the jury.

A gun was found outside the crime scene and was part of the evidence shown to the jury.

Angry after being shut out of a cocaine deal, Jordan, the slain musician’s godson, fired a .40-caliber bullet into Mizell’s head while Washington held others in the room at gunpoint, prosecutors say.

For years, two key witnesses, Lydia High and Uriel ‘Tony’ Rinc√≥n, the latter of whom was shot in the leg the night of the murder, had resisted cooperating with authorities, a reluctance that both they and prosecutors attributed to the fear.

Prosecutor Mark Misorek said the defense teams’ efforts to shift attention to Bryant represented “pure speculation.”

“Karl Jordan Jr. shot Jason Mizell in the head and he did it while Ronald Washington controlled the crowd,” he said.

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