Finally, after nearly two decades, the men responsible for the murder of Jam Master Jay are finally being charged. JMJ was shot to death on October 30, 2002, in his recording studio in Queens. Federal prosecutors have indicted two people, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, Jr. for the crime. The 2 men have long been suspects in the case but now the federal prosecutors finally feel they have what they need to prosecute. The charges for both men are murder while engaged in drug trafficking.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the motive behind the murder was that one of the suspects had been cut out of a drug deal. Federal prosecutors said the investigation revealed JMJ had bought 10 kilos of cocaine from the Midwest that was to be distributed in Maryland by Washington, Jordan, and others. According to the prosecutors, Jay allegedly told Washington he was not going to be involved which was the motivation behind the killing.
Authorities are alleging the 2 suspects, Washington and Jordan, entered Jay’s studio around 7:30 PM armed with firearms. They forced people to lay on the ground while Jordan fired 2 shots at close range, one of which hit the JMJ in the head and killed him. The second shot struck a man named Uriel Rincon in the leg. For nearly 20 years the case was dead in the waters.
“Mr. Jordan and through some of his friends attempted to kill the effort of some witnesses to come forward to law enforcement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Misorek said at Jordan’s arraignment.
Each man is facing charges of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder for the fatal shooting. Jordan is also charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and 7 counts of cocaine distribution. Both men are facing 20 years to life in prison, or possibly even the death penalty if convicted.
Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of Hollis, Queens. He got his start spinning records at barbecues and basement parties. He joined Joseph “Run” Simmons and Daryl “DMC” McDaniels to form Run-DMC, and the group was a big hit in the early 80s with songs like “It’s Like That” and the crossover hit “Walk This Way” with rock band Aerosmith. The group was also the first hip hop group to have a platinum-selling record with “Raising Hell” in 1985.