LifestyleJam Master Jay murder trial verdict: Guilty verdict reached

Jam Master Jay murder trial verdict: Guilty verdict reached

After years of speculation and decades of frustration for family members, detectives, and fans alike, a federal jury in Brooklyn has finally reached a verdict in the murder trial of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced Tuesday that Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington were found guilty of the artist’s 2002 killing in a New York City recording studio.

Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell and co-founder of the groundbreaking hip-hop trio Run-DMC, was fatally shot at a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens, on October 30, 2002. The trial revealed that the motive behind the murder was linked to a drug deal.

Washington, a childhood friend of Jay, and Jordan, Jay’s godson, had both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder. The jury’s decision means the two men could face a minimum of 20 years behind bars and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Notably, prosecutors opted not to seek the death penalty.

Throughout the trial, a key witness, Uriel Rincon, who was present at the recording studio the night of the murder, testified that Jordan and Washington entered armed. Rincon claimed that Jordan was the one who shot Jay in the head, but Rincon said he kept the attackers’ identities a secret out of confusion and fear.

In the prosecution’s closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Artie McConnell emphasized the role of greed, money, and jealousy in the crime. “It’s about the actions of two men, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, that the evidence proves are killers,” McConnell demanded.

The defense countered the claims, arguing that a third defendant, Jay Bryant, was the actual perpetrator. Defense attorneys pointed to DNA evidence on a hat found near Jay’s body, which reportedly contained only Bryant’s DNA. They also highlighted security camera footage that allegedly showed Bryant as the sole defendant present at the scene.

Bryant, charged separately in May 2023 with murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder, has pleaded not guilty and is set to go on trial separately in January 2026.

Earlier this month, the much-anticipated and widely acclaimed documentary “Kings from Queens: The Run DMC Story” was released on Peacock.

Source: Washington Informer

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