Jam Master Jay Murder Trial Date Set Over 20 Years After His Death

Jam Master Jay’s untimely death over two decades ago brought one of Hip Hop’s most praiseworthy narratives to a screeching halt, but those allegedly responsible for the killing are finally set to see their day in court.

On Monday (January 15), TMZ reported that the murder trial for the Run-DMC DJ and record producer is set to commence on January 29. The jury selection, which began last week and involves over 500 candidates, is expected to be finalized by January 22.


In 2020, Karl Jordan Jr. (39) and Ronald Washington (59) were indicted for the New York City shooting that left the 37-year-old legend dead inside a Queens recording studio. The upcoming trial will be centered on their defense.

Last year, Jay Bryant (49) became the third person to be charged in the case, though his trial will most likely take place in 2025.


Because of the gap between the above indictments, the proceedings may feature a dual jury as federal prosecutors are looking to streamline the proceedings against all three defendants. According to court documents, the government submitted a motion to advocate for a two-jury trial, which is pretty rare.

Bryant’s lawyer, César de Castro, has indicated that his client will plead not guilty, saying: “Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing. Proving it at trial is another matter.”

Run-DMC Bid Farewell To The Stage With Their Last Live Performance

Run-DMC Bid Farewell To The Stage With Their Last Live Performance

Jordan and Washington have also pleaded not guilty, though a judge dismissed a motion to have their charges dropped last year.

The trio are alleged to have entered JMJ’s studio and fled after the fatal shooting, with Jordan firing two shots at the victim at close range, including one to the head that killed him. Prosecutors claim that Bryant was seen entering the building immediately before the shooting and left behind an article of clothing at the crime scene, which contained his DNA.


An investigation revealed that the slaying was over a drug deal gone wrong, with Jam Master Jay allegedly acquiring roughly 10 kilograms of cocaine (worth an estimated $1.7 million) from a Midwest narcotics supplier months before his death.

When the Hip Hop pioneer sought to exclude Jordan and Washington from the large, multi-state drug deal, they “murdered him in cold blood,” prosecutors said in their 2020 indictment against the two men.

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