One of two suspects accused of fatally shooting Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay nearly two decades ago is asking for more information about the charges against him, claiming that his indictment is so vague he can’t properly prepare his defense.
The murder of Jason Mizell, better known by his stage name Jam Master Jay, was for years one of the most puzzling and troubling crimes in the music industry. Mizell was working in his Queens studio one evening in October 2002 when he was shot in the head at point-blank range, according to Rolling Stone.
Investigators spent the next 18 years hunting for suspects – and at a press conference in August 2020, they announced the arrest of two men: Karl Jordan Jr., 36, and Ronald Washington, 56. Washington allegedly burst into Mizell’s studio forced the DJ to the ground at gunpoint and held him there while Jordan allegedly walked up and shot him point-blank in the head, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District of New York issued at the time of the arrests.
Federal prosecutors said that Mizell had recently acquired 10 kilograms of cocaine from a supplier in the Midwest and told Jordan that he wouldn’t be involved in distributing it, providing the alleged motive.
Both Jordan and Washington were charged with murdering Mizell while engaged in narcotics trafficking, and Jordan was also charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, using a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime, and seven counts of cocaine distribution, according to a federal indictment.
But Jordan’s attorney is now arguing that the courts haven’t provided Jordan with enough information to properly defend himself, according to a letter filed with the New York Eastern District Court.
“The allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment against Mr. Jordan are so general that they do not advise the defendant of the specific acts of which he is accused,” attorney Michael Hueston wrote.
Hueston pointed out that Jordan has yet to receive key information about the crimes he’s accused of committing, including the members of his alleged narcotics conspiracy and how this conspiracy was allegedly linked to Mizell’s murder. Jordan’s indictment also accuses him of using firearms in connection with drug trafficking across a span of more than four years, but lists no further details about these alleged crimes, Hueston wrote.
Hueston requested that the court provide Jordan with clearer and more specific details about the crimes he's been charged with.
“Mr. Jordan is not asking for a preview of the government’s case; he is entitled to basic information needed to understand the charges against him and defend himself,” Hueston wrote.
Hueston declined a request for comment on this case in a phone interview with Oxygen.com.
Jordan and Washington face 20 years to life in prison if found guilty of murder, according to the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They would also be eligible for the death penalty.
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