Back in 2002, Jason Mizell, better known as Run DMC’s Jay Master Jay, was fatally shot at a recording studio in Jamaica Queens. He was 37 years old.
For the last 18 years, his murder has gone unsolved but some headway has been made in the case. A federal grand jury indicted two men who may be responsible for Mizell’s death.
The case was reopened by the US Attorney of the Eastern District of New York who unsealed the criminal indictment alleging Karl Jordan Jr. and Robert Washington conspired to kill Mizell over a drug dispute. According to Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, law enforcement never gave up on solving the case.
"It was important to us then and remains extremely important to us now to bring justice for the victim, his family, friends and the community that cared so much about those events," he said.
The indictment alleges that Mizell was involved in transporting massive amounts of cocaine between 1996 and 2002. In July of 2002, the rapper acquired about 10 kg of cocaine which Washington, Jordan and others were set to distribute. However, a dispute between Washington and another party led Mizell to try and cut him out of the transaction.
Mizell’s decision was what motivated Jordan and Washington to conspire to kill him. On October 30, 2002, they entered his Jamaica studio with firearms and fatally shot the rapper. They also shot another man in the leg.
Jordan and Washington are being charged with murder while engaging in narcotics trafficking and firearm related murder.
Jordan, 36, is also being charged with one count of conspiracy and seven counts of distribution of cocaine for incidents that occurred in 2017. He was arrested on Sunday and pleaded not guilty on Monday in a teleconference court appearance.
Washington, 56, is in federal custody and will be charged at a lager date. In 2007 he was convicted of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy connected to a series of gunpoint robberies that occurred in New York City and Long Island. He was sentenced to 210 month in prison and is scheduled to be released on April of 2021.
The case aims to solve the mystery behind the killing of one of the most influential hip hop artists in history.
In the early 80’s Jam Master Jay joined up with Run (Joseph Simmons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) to form run DMC. Their 1986 collaboration with Aerosmith on the crossover remake of “Walk This Way” helped them achieve mainstream success. They were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Hall of Fame released the following statement about the group. "They broke down barriers for future rap acts, crossed boundaries between rap and rock and dispelled old notions of what rap could be.”
The last album the group released was “Crown Royal” which came out in 2001. The group broke up after Mizell’s death.