Two Alleged Killers of Run-DMC Founder Jam Master Jay Set to Stand Trial for Murder After Over Two Decades

Queens, New York – Two decades after the tragic shooting of Jam Master Jay, co-founder of the iconic hip hop group Run-DMC, the alleged killers will finally face trial for murder. Jury selection for the trial of Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald “Tinard” Washington begins today at the Brooklyn Federal Court, coinciding with what would have been the late DJ’s 59th birthday. Opening arguments are scheduled for January 29th.

The unsolved murder of Jason Mizell, also known as Jam Master Jay, has long puzzled both his family and the hip hop community in New York. Speculation arose regarding the possible involvement of Mizell’s closest friends, and the case remained a mystery for many years. However, the arrests of Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington in 2020 revealed some answers. Federal prosecutors allege that Mizell was involved in drug dealing and had excluded the duo from a significant cocaine deal involving 10 kilograms.

However, the journey towards justice has been slow, with several delays in the trial process. The case was postponed for almost a year due to a late request for an anonymous jury. In the meantime, a third suspect, Jay Bryant, was indicted by prosecutors for his involvement in the killing. Although they believe Jordan was the actual shooter, Bryant’s case has been separated from Jordan and Washington’s trial, scheduled for 2026. The role of Bryant in the shooting could potentially affect the defense strategy of Jordan and Washington.

Ronald Washington has already implicated his co-defendant Jordan and Jordan’s father, Darren Jordan, in the murder. In a 2021 interview with Playboy, Washington stated that he was certain Karl Jordan Jr., also known as Little D, was the shooter. Washington claimed to have looked Jordan in the face before he fled the scene and quoted him as saying, “My pops wasn’t supposed to shoot Jay. That wasn’t supposed to happen.”

As the trial approaches, federal prosecutors have been tight-lipped about their strategy and the expected testimonies of witnesses, including individuals who were present in the studio at the time of the shooting. It remains to be seen whether Randy Allen, Lydia High, Uriel Rincon, and Michael “Mike B.” Bonds will testify about what they witnessed on that fateful night. Rincon, who was shot in the leg, previously revealed to the Daily News in 2007 that Mizell had a gun with him but trusted the killer enough not to reach for it, adding that he never saw the shooter’s face.

While awaiting the trial, Jam Master Jay’s cousin, Doc Thompson, expressed frustration towards the witnesses who remained silent for years. Thompson described them as “weak individuals” who were not truly Mizell’s friends. Court filings indicate that federal prosecutors plan to introduce evidence showing that both defendants had access to .40-caliber guns and that Jordan had asked Mizell to involve him in his drug-trafficking operation. They also expect witness testimony regarding the disappearance of Jordan’s .40-caliber gun around the time of the murder and a separate incident where Jordan allegedly shot Mizell’s nephew in the leg.

One intriguing aspect of the case is the judge’s stance on rap lyrics. Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall, during a bail hearing for Karl Jordan Jr. in 2020, expressed her belief that violent rap lyrics should not be held against individuals, as they are a form of artistic expression consumed by the community. She reaffirmed this position during a recent status conference, where the issue of song lyrics was raised by Assistant U.S. Attorney Artie McConnell. The judge announced her intention to address her perspective on music lyrics in a written opinion before the trial.

As the trial finally begins, hopes are high for justice to be served in the murder of Jam Master Jay. The hip hop community, along with Mizell’s family and friends, eagerly awaits the outcome, longing for closure after more than two decades of uncertainty.