Run-DMC | Verdict in sight in murder trial of Jam Master Jay, killed in 2002

(New York) “Executioners” who executed him because of a drug affair: the prosecution dealt these last blows Tuesday at the trial of the two suspects tried in New York for the 2002 murder of Jam Master Jay, hip-hop figure and Run-DMC DJ.

After this final indictment from the prosecutors, the defense will speak one last time on Wednesday and the jury will then retire to deliberate and deliver its verdict, more than twenty years after this murder which shocked the entire hip-hop planet.

Two men, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. (suspected of having been the shooter), have been appearing since January 22 in Brooklyn federal court for having killed the DJ in his recording studio in Queens, against the backdrop of a murder case. drug.

“This file is not complicated […] This is a case of greed, money, jealousy,” summed up prosecutor Artie McConnell during his final argument, at the end of debates which saw relatives of the victim, witnesses to the crime and investigators testify.

According to the prosecution, Karl Jordan Jr, godson of the DJ, and 18 years old at the time, shot him in the head, while his accomplice held the other people present in the studio at gunpoint.

Dark part

Prosecutors rely on two witnesses who have remained silent for a long time, for fear of reprisals according to the prosecution.

For the defense, this testimony is questionable, so long after the events.

“20 years later, [le crime] is no less real and it is no more defensible,” retorted Artie McConnell.

Father of three children, Jam Master Jay was killed on October 30, 2002, at the age of 37.

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

His funeral in the Allen Cathedral was grandiose, bringing 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 great rap group, with their hits It’s Like That, It’s Trickyand the famous cover of the Aerosmith title, Walk This Way, in duet with the rock group.

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

His murder remained unsolved for two decades, before the announcement in August 2022 of the indictment of the two suspects, also prosecuted for drug trafficking.

A third suspect, Jay Bryant, was charged in May 2023, but he will be tried separately and at a later date.

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