Pair of Men Found Guilty in Murder of Run-DMC DJ


Over 20 years after Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was shot to death in his Queens recording studio, two men have been convicted for the murder.

On Tuesday, jurors at the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of New York in Brooklyn delivered the long-expected decision following weeks of testimonials.

Karl Jordan, Jr., identified as Mizell’s godson, has been charged with firing the gun that killed the DJ, according to a report from the New York Times. Federal prosecutors also found Ronald Washington guilty of carrying out the killing with Jordan as a means of revenge after the pair of men learned they had been cut out of a drug deal. Prosecutors argued that the men enlisted a third man, Jay Bryant, who will be tried in a separate trial slated for 2026.

Mizell, who was 37 at the time of his death, was killed on Oct. 30, 2002. Multiple reports cite Mizell had turned to the drug trade after his success with Run-DMC began to fade. He was shot once in the head at point-blank range with a .40-caliber handgun by a masked gunman identified as Jordan. Another bullet hit Mizell’s friend and assistant Uriel “Tony” Rincon, who was playing video games with Mizell at the time of the shooting.

Rincon and a woman who worked for Mizell’s JMJ Records, Lydia High, were the only eyewitnesses to the shooting. Both had denied they knew who was responsible for Mizell’s death and claimed they were intimidated by Jordan, causing the case to go unsolved for decades.

With Mizell providing the beats, Run-DMC — a trio including Joseph “Run” Simmons” and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels — was one of the most influential rap groups in history with hits like “Walk This Way,” their 1986 duet with Aerosmith, as well as “Rock Box,” “It’s Tricky” and “King of Rock.”

Jordan and Washington each face a minimum of 20 years, with official sentencing set for a later date.

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