Suspects in Jam Master Jay murder will stand trial in February

Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, the two men accused of killing Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, will stand trial for the alleged homicide in February 2023, more than 20 years after Jay’s death.

Jam Master Jay — real name Jason Mizell — was shot to death on Oct. 20, 2002 in his Queens, N.Y. recording studio. His killing went unsolved until August 2020, when Jordan and Washington were charged with his death, according to Billboard. Federal prosecutors claim the two shot Mizell as payback for a failed drug deal.

“The defendants allegedly carried out the cold-blooded murder of Jason Mizell, a brazen act that has finally caught up with them, thanks to the dedicated detectives, agents and prosecutors who never gave up on this case,” prosecutors stated at the time that Jordan and Washington were charged.

Jam Master Jay Run DMC
Jam Master Jay, Darryl DMC and DJ Run of the hip-hop group, RUN-DMC, in February 2002 in Hollywood, California. The two men accused of killing Jay on Oct. 30, 2002 will stand trial for the alleged homicide in February 2023, more than 20 years later. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Both Jordan and Washington argued that they would not have a fair trial because of the long delay in their respective arrests.

Jordan stated that cellphone records that would support his alibi on the day of the murder were no longer available. Meanwhile, Washington argued that because of the long delay the memories of critical witnesses would prove unreliable.

Federal Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall rejected Washington and Jordan’s arguments, noting that Jordan’s claims about his cellphone records were too “speculative” to warrant a dismissal.

“Conspicuously absent from Jordan’s argument is any factual support for his claim,” wrote Hall. “In the absence of any factual support, the court has no idea what Jordan believes the phone records contain, how they could conceivably contradict the Government’s evidence, and how those contradictions could conceivably demonstrate that Jordan did not commit the crime.”

Regarding Washington’s argument about the memory of witnesses, Hall wrote, “That memories will dim, witnesses become inaccessible, and evidence being [sic] lost are not in themselves enough to demonstrate that defendants cannot receive a fair trial.”

Continued Hall, “While Washington goes on at length regarding errors in memory, he ignores that those are also problems for the Government.”

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