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  • 1440 Daily Digest

'Jam Master Jay' Verdict

A federal jury in New York yesterday convicted two men in the 2002 murder of hip-hop pioneer Jason Mizell, also known as Jam Master Jay. Mizell, who as a DJ made up one-third of the iconic group Run-DMC, was shot and killed at his Queens recording studio at age 37. The case remained unsolved for decades amid a lack of evidence and stalled investigations until 2020.

Karl Jordan Jr., 40, and Ronald Washington, 59, were found guilty on charges of murder while engaged in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy and firearm-related murder. Jordan (Mizell's godson) and Washington (Mizell's childhood friend) targeted Mizell after being cut out of a drug deal reportedly worth nearly $200K. The two men each face a maximum sentence of life in prison. A third man, Jay Bryant, whose DNA was found at the scene, faces a separate trial in 2026. 

Run-DMC is considered one of the most influential groups in hip-hop, bringing the genre into the mainstream in the mid-1980s, working with Aerosmith, and signing a deal with Adidas.

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