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Monday, August 17, 2020

Two Men Charged In 2002 Killing Of Jam Master Jay

For almost two decades, the killing of celebrated hip-hop disc jockey Jam Master Jay has remained one of the country’s most notorious unsolved slayings.

On Monday, federal prosecutors announced indictments on two suspects long believed to be involved in the 2002 killing of the former member of 1980s rap group Run-DMC, The New York Times reports. New York City officials charged Ronald Washington, 56, and Karl Jordan, Jr., 36, with murder while drug trafficking and nine other counts.

Court filings say the two suspects worked “together with others” to premeditate and plan the murder of Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay. According to The Times, U.S. attorney Seth D. DuCharme said Mizell’s killers walked up and killed him in “cold blood.”

“This is a case about a murder that for nearly two decades has gone unanswered,” he said. “Today we begin to answer that question of who killed Jason Mizell and why.”

In new court documents detailing Mizell’s death, prosecutors claimed Washington and Jordan killed Mizell on October 30, 2002 after he tried to exclude them from a “multistate” drug deal. According to the documents, that July, Mizell received nearly 10 kilos of cocaine on loan from a supplier in Maryland. Following a dispute, Mizell threatened to cut both Jordan and Washington as partners in the deal, according to The Times. The two men broke into Mizell’s studio that day, forced a person inside on the ground and shot Mizell in the back of the head akin to an execution-style slaying.

Washington was an associate of Mizell’s who had been living on a couch at the slain DJ’s home days prior to the death, according to CBS News. In 2007, Washington was first named a possible suspect after prosecutors alleged he waved a handgun around and ordered people in Mizell’s recording studio on the ground. With the guests contained, a separate man wearing a mask shot and killed Mizell.

Both Washington and Jordan were implicated in a plot to distribute five kilograms of cocaine during the time Mizell was killed, The Associated Press reports. DuCharme and other law officials did not say if the former DJ had any role in the conspiracy and refused to take questions.

An anonymous law enforcement official said two witnesses were now cooperating in the case, per The Times. Following Mizell’s death, the city and his family offered $60,000 in reward money, but witnesses refused to come to the light and the case stalled. Marvin Thompson, Mizell’s older brother, believed that people close to his sibling were responsible for his death. Prior to his death in 2018, Thompson told The New York Daily News he was still seeking answers and hoped someone did the right thing.

"There's still so many unanswered questions. I pray that someone will step up and close this case and give us some peace," Thompson said in 2012, 10 years after Mizell’s killing.

If convicted, Washington and Jordan would each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. They could also face a death penalty, but CNN reports Attorney General William Barr has yet to determine whether to enforce capitol punishment.

Jordan has a virtual arraignment scheduled for Monday. Washington, currently serving a federal prison sentence for a string of robberies, has his hearing scheduled later this week in Kentucky, according to The Associated Press.

from Blavity News

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