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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Hip Hop Legend Jam Master Jay Murdered by Godson and Childhood Friend in 2002: Both Men Found Guilty Yesterday

Jam Master Jay/Photo/Instagram

Two men were found guilty of the 2002 murder of DJ Jam Master Jay from the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC

According to ABC 7, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington were each 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. Their alleged motive for killing the legendary DJ was because he reportedly cut them out of a drug deal. Jay had allegedly fallen on hard times and needed extra income and, therefore, tried to secure a drug deal to earn extra money, which is a claim that his family reportedly denies. 

Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington

Karl Jordan Jr. was reportedly Jam Master Jay's godson, and Ronald Washington was his childhood friend. According to NBC, Washington was living at the home of the DJ’s sister when the crime was committed. Both men were arrested in 2020 and pleaded not guilty. Although there was no physical evidence linking the men to the crime, just eyewitness testimony. The only DNA found at the crime scene was that of a third suspect charged in the case (Jay Bryant). Bryant was indicted in 2023 and will go to trial at a later time. Years ago, Washington implicated Jay's godson in the crime— He told Playboy magazine in 2003 he'd been outside the studio, heard the shots and saw "Little D" — one of Jordan's monikers — racing out of the building.

Uriel 'Tony' Rincon and Jay's former business manager, Lydia High, alleged they were with Jay in his studio on Merrick Boulevard in New York at the time of his death but feared for their safety and, therefore, did not come forward when the crime initially happened. Uriel was wounded during the shooting; for years, he maintained that he didn't recognize the shooter out of fear of retaliation. 

Per ABC 7, Tony explained to the court, "I omitted the truth. I was confused and scared. I just saw a bunch of people that I know with something I'd never seen." During the trial, he identified the gunman by name and gave details about the day of the crime, "Jordan, who was Mizell's godson, walked directly to Jay - gave him half a handshake and at the same time, that's when I hear a couple of shots. I see Jay just fall." Jordan explained to the courts that he was shot in the leg, "I am on the floor tending to my wound and also trying to pay attention to Jason, shaking him, asking him if he's okay and he's not responding."

The Run-DMC DJ's cousin, Carlis Thompson, remembers Jason as a talented and loving person who couldn't say no, "he loved everybody, he could never say no, and that's one of the reasons why some of the people around him were undesirables if you will because he just didn't push people away."

Run-DMC. Photo/Instagram

However, Jacqueline Gonzalez, the mother of Karl Jordan Jr., doesn't believe her son is guilty. She said, "My son had nothing to do with this crime; I'm still devastated. I can't believe they found him guilty from all the facts that they got from this case, I can't believe that they found him guilty, according to CBS. His mother continued, "I feel like I know the feds, the government paid those witnesses to lie on my son. My son had nothing to do with this crime, nothing at all," per NBC New York.

RUN-DMC posted about the trial on Instagram, "We're thankful this trial has come to an end and will hopefully give some closure to Jay's family. Jay will always hold a special place in the hearts of all his friends, and all the people he inspired, mentored and gave an opportunity. He is the heart and soul of RUN DMC, and we will forever miss him."

Jay's son, TJ Mizell, also expressed his feelings about the trial, "bittersweet victory today 🖤."

Rapper 50 Cent said, "Welp that's all folks 🤷🏽‍♂️R.I.P Jam Master Jay." 

Jay was a member of one of the most influential acts in hip-hop and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the art. Run-DMC was the first hip-hop group to have a gold record, appear on MTV and American Bandstand, grace the cover of Rolling Stone, and be nominated for a Grammy Award. Before his passing, Jay was responsible for helping to launch the rapper 50 Cent's career and mentoring many artists throughout the years. 

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