The wheels may finally be in motion after a long wait for justice in the 2002 murder of Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay (above, right).
On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the indictments of two men they believe were connected to the long unsolved murder of Jay (real name Jason Mizell), which occurred on October 30, 2002 at the DJ’s music studio in the Jamaica area of Queens, New York.
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The two indicted men were identified as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. Washington is already in federal prison on unrelated charges, while Jordan was arrested on Sunday by agents from the ATF in conjunction with assistance from the NYPD in New York City. Jordan pleaded not guilty in a virtual court appearance on Monday morning, according to CNN.
Prosecutors unsealed a ten-count indictment on Monday, finally shedding some light on Jay’s murder and the motives behind it — both of which had remained a mystery for 18 years.
In the indictment, prosecutors claim the two men had previously been in contact with Jay in pursuit of cocaine-selling goals, intending to make a major drug deal so they could distribute multiple kilograms of the substance in Maryland and around the Washington, DC area.
Prior to the murder, however, Jay had informed Washington that he was no longer going to be included in the plot to distribute the drugs to Maryland. Having been cut out of the drug deal, Washington and Jordan then allegedly decided to strike back, entering Jay’s studio at about 7:30 pm on the night of the murder before shooting the DJ in the head; another person was shot in the leg, suffering a non-life-threatening wound from which they recovered.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme released a statement about the events leading up to the 2002 murder as part of the indictment announcement today, revealing (below):
“Primarily this is a case about a murder which for nearly two decades had gone unanswered. Today we begin to answer the question of who killed Jason Mizell and why. The passage of time offers you no escape. What we’ve alleged in that indictment is that on October 30, 2002, nearly 20 years ago, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Washington walked into a music studio in Queens where Mr. Mizell and others were working essentially, hanging out, and they walked in and murdered him in cold blood. … It was important to us then and remains extremely important to us now to bring justice for the victim, his family, friends and the community that cared so much about those events.”
It’s a sad day for hip hop fans, but an informative one, too, as Jay’s death (and specifically, the motives behind it) had been a source of mystery up until now. The DJ and performing artist was just 37 years old at the time of his death.
The indictments today won’t bring him back, of course, but at least justice appears to have come for the two men responsible for this heinous crime.
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[Image via WENN]
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