A third man has been charged in the 2002 slaying of Run D.M.C. member Jam Master Jay, who was shot and killed in his Queens recording studio over an alleged drug-related beef.
Per Rolling Stone, on Tuesday (May 30), federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, NY indicted Jay Bryant of Queens, NY on charges including murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and other drug-trafficking crimes. According to Bryant’s lawyer, César de Castro, the 49-year-old intends to plead not guilty, with de Castro scoffing at the prosecution’s ability to make their case in open court.
“Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing,” the attorney said. “Proving it at trial is another matter.”
Bryant, who is currently awaiting trial on unrelated drug trafficking charges, is believed to be one of the three men who barged into Jam Master Jay’s studio on October 30, 2002 and murdered him in front of multiple witnesses. Prosecutors claim that Bryant was spotted entering the building prior to the shooting and that his DNA was found on an article of clothing discovered at the scene of the crime.
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Two other men, Karl Jordan Jr., 36, and Ronald Washington, 56, were arrested and charged with Jam Master Jay’s murder in August 2020, with Jordan believed to have fired the fatal shot that took the life of the music icon. Both men have plead not guilty and are currently awaiting trial.
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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, had orchestrated a drug deal in which he was to receive 10 kilos of cocaine to be distributed by Washington, Jordan, and others. Yet, prosecutors say that when Mizell refused to include Washington in the deal, the suspects hatched the murder plot out of revenge.
“The defendants allegedly carried out the cold-blooded murder of Jason Mizell, a brazen act that has finally caught up with them thanks to the dedicated detectives, agents and prosecutors who never gave up on this case,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme at the time of Jordan and Washington’s arrests. “The charges announced today begin to provide a measure of justice to the family and friends of the victim, and make clear that the rule of law will be upheld, whether that takes days, months or decades.”