One Of The Men Indicted For The 2002 Murder Of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay Had Actually Been Crashing On His Couch

Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot in the head inside his Queens recording studio.

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Hip Hop Cold Cases of Murder
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Hip Hop Cold Cases of Murder

A trio of infamous murder cold cases continue to haunt the world of hip-hop.

The 2002 murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay in New York City – one of the city's most notorious unsolved crimes – has been solved, authorities say.  

The musician was 37 when he was shot in the head by a masked assailant inside his Queens recording studio on Oct. 30, 2002. The shooting had remained a cold case for nearly two decades, with no suspects and no clear motive.

On Monday, authorities announced the indictments of Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr., according to NBC New York.

Washington, 56, is currently serving a federal prison sentence for robbery. Jordan, 36, was arrested on Sunday by the New York City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, NBC New York reported.

"This case has been around for a long time," Seth DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said while announcing the grand jury indictment at a Monday news conference. "For the crime of murder, the passage of time offers you no escape."

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NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison praised the work of investigators at the press conference.

"Me being a native of Queens and being a big fan of Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay, making this arrest was very important to me," Harrison told reporters Monday.

Jason “Jay” Mizell — known professionally as Jam Master Jay — was a DJ for the influential 1980s hip hop group Run-DMC, alongside Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels. The group is known for many hits like “It’s Tricky” and the Aerosmith collaboration “Walk This Way," the Associated Press reported.

Run-DMC was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and has been awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy.

Both Washington and Jordan have been accused of murder while engaged in drug trafficking. Court papers filed as far back as 2007 identified Washington as a suspect in Mizell's killing, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

Washington had actually been sleeping on Jay's couch in the days leading up to the shooting, according to the AP. In the 2007 court documents, prosecutors alleged that on the night of the shooting, he'd forced other people in the studio to lay on the ground while another attacker shot Mizell in the head.

Washington "provided cover for his associate to shoot and kill Jason Mizell," prosecutors wrote at the time. 

Washington had been previously linked to the 1995 killing of Randy Walker, a close associate of the late Tupac Shakur. 

It is not clear if Washington and Jordan have retained attorneys who can comment on the charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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