Two men found guilty of murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Two men from Hollis, Queens have been found guilty of the 2002 murder of Jam Master Jay, DJ for the pioneering and influential hip-hop group Run-DMC.

Karl Jordan Jr., also known as “Little D” and “Noid,” and Ronald Washington, also known as “Tinard,” had each been charged with one count of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and one count of firearm-related murder for the fatal shooting of Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, on 30 October 2002.

Jordan was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and seven counts of cocaine distribution.

Both defendants had pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors had argued in court that prior to his murder, Mizell had moved to cut Washington out of a lucrative transaction involving the sale of around 10 kilograms of cocaine.

In retaliation, Washington and Jordan conspired to murder the trailblazing DJ.

The funeral of Jason ‘Jam Master Jay’ Mizell Jason was held at New York’s Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in 2002

Ralph Mullgrav, a convicted drug dealer, testified during the trial that Mizell “wasn’t a drug dealer” but had dabbled in drug sales “to make ends meet”. Mizell’s family has disputed this claim.

During the trial, prosecutors described how Washington and Jordan were both armed when they entered Mizell’s recording studio, 24/7 Studio, on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, at around 7:30 pm on 30 October 2002.

Once inside the studio, Washington pointed his firearm at an individual and demanded they lie on the floor, while Jordan fired two shots at Mizell at close range. The fatal shot struck Mizell in the head, while another hit him in the leg.

Announcing the charges, Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement: “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.”

Run-DMC are one of the most significant groups in the history of hip-hop and rap. The trio formed in 1983 after meeting and becoming friends in Two-Fifths Park in Hollis in the late 1970s. They released their self-titled debut album in 1984 and their most popular hits include debut single “It’s Like That” (1983), “It’s Tricky” (1987) and “Walk This Way”, a 1986 collaboration with Aerosmith which pioneered the rap-rock crossover.

In 2009 the group were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2016 they rap’s first Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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