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April Clare Welsh
28 February 2024, 12:50

Two men convicted of murdering Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Karl “Lil D” Jordan and Ronald “Tinard” Washington reportedly face 20 years to life in prison for the murder

Jam Master Jay

Two men have been convicted of murdering Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay.

Karl “Lil D” Jordan and Ronald “Tinard” Washington were charged with the 2002 killing in August 2020 and now face 20 years to life in prison, the Guardian reports.

DJ for Run-DMC from the early '80s until his death, Jam Master Jay, real name Jason William Mizell, was fatally shot in New York City in a recording studio on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens on 30th October 2002. He was 37-years-old. 

The pair were brought to trial in September 2022. At the time, Washington was already serving a federal prison sentence for robbery. Jordan was taken into custody in August 2020. 

The four-week trial called dozens of witnesses to the stand as prosecutors argued that Mizell was involved in a cocaine deal that was potentially worth $200,000, from which he was ultimately cut out, resulting in a dispute with Jordan and Washington. Prosecutors alleged that Jordan and Washington shot Mizell at his recording studio in Queens, with Jordan firing the fatal gunshots.

The defendants, who both pleaded not guilty, also faced charges that included one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and seven counts of cocaine distribution for Jordan. 

“Twenty years is a long time to wait for justice,” the assistant US attorney Artie McConnell reportedly told jurors in a closing statement, urging: “Don’t let this go on for another minute.”

A third man, Jay Bryant, has also been charged in connection with the murder. He has reportedly pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in January 2026.

Mitzell formed Run-DMC alongside Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels in the Hollis neighbourhood in the New York borough of Queens. The trio went on to become one of the most influential hip-hop acts of the 1980s. In 2009, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.