Untitled design (14)

Murder of Jam Master Jay Motivated “by Greed and Revenge”

As defense attorneys questioned the veracity of the evidence in the trial concerning the alleged murder 20 years ago, US prosecutors informed jurors on Monday that Run-DMC member Jam Master Jay was killed in an ambush motivated “by greed and revenge.” The trial will take place in Brooklyn federal court and be determined by an anonymous jury. It revolves around the events of October 30, 2002, when DJ Mizell, a well-known pioneering rapper, was shot in the head and died in his Queens studio. He was a 37-year-old father of three children.

Before prosecutors revealed a 10-count indictment against suspects Ronald Washington, now 59, and Karl Jordan Jr., the suspected shooter, now 40, in 2020, the murder remained unsolved. As the prosecution began and the jury was sworn in, both men arrived in court impeccably attired—Washington in a black blazer and Jordan in a blue vest over a white shirt with striped ties.

Mizell, Washington, and Jordan were all from Hollis, Queens, where the DJ maintained a studio while becoming well-known for his Run-DMC classics, such as “It’s Tricky.” Although Run-DMC was well-known for criticizing drug culture, prosecutors claim that Mizell became involved as a middleman dealer to maintain his lifestyle and the lives of those close to him after interest in the group’s music waned.


The prosecution’s Miranda Gonzalez told the jury that after a fight over a drug deal, Jordan “brazenly murdered” Mizell by shooting a 40-caliber bullet into his brain, “killing him instantly.” She said that after forcing witnesses to the ground, Washington—who was armed as well—left with Jordan and a suspected accomplice, who had allowed the men entry through a back door. “People he knew would murder him in his own music studio,” she declared.

Gonzalez said that a lot of individuals, including Washington, were dependent on Mizell for financial support, which led to the artist’s successful side business dealing in drugs. But in his statement, Jordan’s attorney, John Diaz, stressed how “the narrative has changed over time,” pointing out that witnesses have resisted working with police for weeks, months, or even years. Jurors were informed by defense attorney Ezra Spilke that the case was centered around “10 seconds, 21 years ago.”

He questioned the veracity of recollections going back a generation, labeling the prosecution’s version of events as “one version of many.” In addition, he underlined Washington and Mizell’s friendship and the financial circumstances the prosecution had brought up, saying, “Why bite the hand that feeds you?” stated Spilke.v

“Convicting the wrong person… does not solve the tragedy,” he added, adding that “Mizell was a beloved artist.” “It simply adds one more to it.” Jordan, who was eighteen at the time of the alleged crime, and Washington are accused of murder in connection with the trafficking of illegal drugs and murder involving a handgun. The trial is scheduled to last four weeks, and the prosecutors named James Lusk, a retired investigator who was among the first on the scene, as their first witness.

Run-DMC was a pioneer of both new-school hip hop, which combined rock elements, aggressive boasting, and sociopolitical commentary, and its offshoot, golden era hip hop, which featured varied sampling, along with LL Cool J and Public Enemy. The groundbreaking trio, who were the first rappers to appear on MTV, created a new rap style that incorporated street culture and broke away from the flamboyant, disco-inspired clothing of its forebears.

The song “My Adidas” from their successful album “Raising Hell” led to a sponsorship agreement with the company, establishing the unbreakable bond between hip hop culture and sneakers that exists today. Furthermore, the “Walk This Way” reimagining from the same album outperformed the original 1970s smash in terms of success. Mizell rose to prominence in New York before he passed away as a supporter of homegrown talent, mentoring up-and-coming rappers and helping to establish a DJ academy.

The 1990s saw a wave of rap-related killings, including the shooting deaths of prominent figures like Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. Jam Master Jay’s murder came after. US Attorney General Merrick Garland directed against the death sentence being applied to the accused in this case.—AFP

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *