2 Men Are Convicted in 2002 Killing of Run-DMC D.J. Jam Master Jay

Two men were found guilty on Tuesday of killing of the D.J. Jason Mizell, known as Jam Master Jay, of Run-DMC, bringing a long-sought conclusion to a case that had confounded investigators and left rap fans grieving for over 20 years.

Karl Jordan Jr., 40, Mr. Mizell’s godson, was charged with firing the fatal bullet into Mr. Mizell’s head in 2002. Federal prosecutors said that Ronald Washington, 59, a longtime friend of Mr. Mizell, carried out the killing with Mr. Jordan, motivated by revenge after they had been cut out of a potentially lucrative drug deal.

Mr. Mizell was 37 when he was shot point-blank in his Queens recording studio, not far from Hollis, the neighborhood that birthed Run-DMC and other hip-hop acts in the 1980s. The group’s name referred to its emcees: Joseph Simmons, known as Run, and Darryl McDaniels, known as DMC. With Mr. Mizell providing the beats, the trio brought hip-hop to the mainstream in the mid-80s, selling millions of records, collaborating with the rock band Aerosmith and signing a deal with Adidas, whose sneakers were part of their uniform.

By 2002, Run-DMC’s fame had dimmed and Mr. Mizell had turned to the drug trade to support his family and retinue, prosecutors said. They argued that greed and revenge had driven Mr. Washington and Mr. Jordan to kill Mr. Mizell, and that the pair had enlisted a third man, Jay Bryant, who is to be tried separately in 2026.

The prosecution presented 35 witnesses over the monthlong trial, ranging from drug dealers to some of Mr. Mizell’s closest contacts, and evidence including ballistics and graphic autopsy photos. The most important witnesses were those who saw the killing: Lydia High, who worked for Mr. Mizell’s record label, and Tony Rincon, an assistant.

Mr. Rincon, who identified Mr. Jordan as the shooter, suffered a bullet wound to the leg in the ambush. Ms. High said she could not see the shooter’s face but that Mr. Washington had held her at gunpoint as the killing took place.

Related Articles

Back to top button