Jam Master Jay’s godson and childhood friend found guilty in his death after 22 years 

Francis Akhalbey February 28, 2024
Run-DMC member Jam Master Jay (middle) was gunned down in October 2002 -- Photo Credit: Jeff Pinilla

A New York jury on Tuesday found two men guilty of murder in the shooting death of Run-DMC member Jam Master Jay. Per CBS News, the jury reached the guilty verdict after deliberating for three days.

Jam Master Jay, who was the DJ of the trailblazing hip-hop group, was in his Queens music studio when he was fatally shot on October 30, 2002.  Authorities in 2020 ultimately arrested and charged Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington in connection with the 37-year-old musician’s murder.

Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was Jordan’s godfather while Washington was his childhood friend. The two defendants allegedly killed Mizell after he cut them out of a drug deal. 

“As proven at trial, between the 1990s and 2002, separate from his music career, Mizell was involved in arranging for the sale of kilogram-quantities of cocaine in the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere. In August 2002, Mizell acquired approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine on consignment from a supplier based in California,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.

“The cocaine was intended to be distributed in Maryland by Washington, Jordan and other co-conspirators. A dispute between Washington and one of the co-conspirators in Baltimore resulted in Mizell cutting Washington and Jordan out of the Maryland drug deal worth almost $200,000. Following this betrayal, Washington and Jordan continued in the larger narcotics conspiracy until they could ultimately cut out Jason Mizell by murdering him on October 30, 2002.”

Eyewitnesses who took the stand said that Mizell was gunned down by Jordan, 40, while the victim was in his studio, adding that Washington, 59, was also armed with a gun and stood guard over the door, CBS News reported.

“Although it appeared that the case had gone cold and would not be solved, law enforcement never wavered in its determination to bring Mr. Mizell’s killers to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “It’s no mystery why it took so long. Witnesses were terrified that they would be retaliated against if they cooperated with law enforcement.”

A third co-conspirator identified as Jay Bryant is also facing a different trial in Mizell’s murder. Authorities said Bryant, who has entered a not-guilty plea, allowed Jordan and Washington to enter the studio through the fire escape door.

“It’s definitely a long time coming,” Mizell’s cousin, Carlis Thompson, said. “Justice delayed is not always justice denied.” Ryan Thompson, who is also Mizell’s cousin, said justice, however, came at a price when he was asked if that was the case.

“Yes. [I have] to answer yes because I didn’t know either until I was told,” Thompson said. “We wasn’t brought up like that. That’s not how we were raised.”

Authorities said Jordan and Washington face 20 years to life in prison. Their attorneys said they intend to file an appeal over the decision. 

“My son had nothing to do with this crime,” Jordan’s mother, Jacqueline Gonzalez, said in response to the verdict. “I’m still devastated. I can’t believe they found him– from all the facts that they got from this case, I can’t believe that they found him guilty.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 28, 2024

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