Jam Master Jay Trial Finally Begins Two Decades After His Murder Over Cocaine Deal

BY Dora Abena Dzaka January 31, 2024 5:57 PM EDT

Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, the two men accused in 2020 of Jam Master Jay’s unsolved 2002 murder, are now on trial in a Brooklyn federal courthouse, only days after the news of the jury selection process broke.

According to reports, Jordan and Washington murdered the Run DMC’s DJ in retaliation for what they saw as Jay’s breakup over a cocaine deal.

They will both be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty; however, they will not be executed. LaShann DeArcy Hall, the U.S. District Judge, will preside over the case following the completion of the jury selection process.

One of the most well-known cold cases in hip-hop history was the horrific murder of Jam Master Jay, real name Jason Mizell. Even though there have been numerous leads and witnesses throughout the years, no official charges were brought until August 2020.

Prosecutors claim that on October 30, 2002, Jordan and Washington broke into Jay’s Queens studio. According to reports, Jordan fired two shots, one of which hit Jay in the head at close range and killed him nearly instantaneously while Washington brandished a gun in front of studio witnesses.

“The defendants allegedly carried out the cold-blooded murder of Jason Mizell, a brazen act that has finally caught up with them thanks to the dedicated detectives, agents, and prosecutors who never gave up on this case,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a statement at the time. 

The charges unveiled today demonstrate that the rule of law will be upheld, whether it takes days, months, or decades, and start to offer some justice to the victim’s family and friends.

Later this year, a second trial for Jay Bryant, a third guy who was allegedly involved in the murder, will take place. In May 2023, he was charged and entered a not-guilty plea.