Run DMC Two men found guilty of murdering Jam Master Jay

Run-DMC: Two men found guilty of murdering Jam Master Jay

Two men were convicted Tuesday by a federal court jury in Brooklyn of the 2002 murder of DJ and Run DMC founder Jam Master Jay, a hip-hop star whose brutal death shocked the rap world.

• Also read: 18 years later, two suspects are charged with the murder of rapper Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay was shot to death in his recording studio in Queens, New York, on October 30, 2002, at the age of 37, a crime that remained unsolved for nearly two decades before the indictment of two suspects, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, in 2020 Jr.

“You just killed two innocent people,” Ronald Washington said as he was led out of the courtroom, while relatives and friends of the defendants who attended the nearly month-long trial burst into tears.

According to the prosecution, the two men acted out of revenge after being excluded from a cocaine sale.

Prosecutors relied on two witnesses who remained silent for a long time out of fear of reprisals, according to the prosecution. According to their theory, Karl Jordan Jr., then 18 and the victim's godson, shot the DJ in the head while Ronald Washington held the others at gunpoint. ©Feelings in the Studio.

But defense attorneys pointed to a third suspect, Jay Bryant, who was indicted in May 2023 and will be tried separately and at a later date. According to the prosecution, Jay Bryant is implicated because he allowed the two defendants to enter the studio, but as far as the defense is concerned, the heaviest suspicions fall on him.

The death of Jam Master Jay in his studio in Queens, the popular New York borough where Run-DMC was founded in the early 1980s, was a huge shock to the rap world and was reminiscent of the violent deaths of two other giants: Tupac Shakur, murdered in Las Vegas in 1996, and The Notorious BIG, murdered in Los Angeles in 1997.

His funeral at Allen Cathedral was grand and brought together the elite of American rap of the time, from LL Cool J to Queen Latifah, including Chuck D (Public Enemy) and his friends from Run-DMC, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, among several thousand people.

The trio is often considered the first major rap group, with their hits “It's Like That”, “It's Tricky” and the famous cover of Aerosmith's song “Walk This Way” as a duet with the rock group.

The trial revealed a darker side to the DJ, whose real name was Jason Mizell, who was involved in drug dealing to finance his lifestyle and that of his loved ones, and that Run-DMC was losing notoriety, according to prosecutors.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.