Third suspect indicted in murder case of hip-hop legend Jam Master Jay

June 1, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Three years after the indictment of two suspects, Karl Jordan, Jr. and Ronald Washington, for the murder of hip-hop star Jam Master Jay, a third man, Jay Bryant, has been charged in connection with the case.

Jason Mizell, better known by his stage name, Jam Master Jay, was a member of the pioneering hip-hop group Run-DMC. Known for his deft DJ skills and musical innovation, Mizell helped catapult hip-hop from the streets of New York to the global stage in the 1980s, contributing to the genre’s eventual domination of the music industry.

On October 30, 2002, Mizell was shot and killed in his recording studio in Queens, in what investigators have alleged was a dispute over a narcotics deal. The shocking crime went unsolved for nearly two decades before the initial charges were brought against Jordan and Washington in 2020.

New evidence and investigation led to the indictment of Bryant, who is believed to have been present at the scene of the crime. As per the latest court filings, Bryant was seen entering the building just prior to the murder, and an article of clothing left at the crime scene contained Bryant’s DNA. Bryant also allegedly admitted to participating in the murder, claiming to one associate that he was the actual shooter.

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In light of this development, the trial against the initial two defendants, Jordan and Washington, was delayed. The additional time allowed the prosecution to gather evidence and bring charges against Bryant.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace, Bryant’s criminal history, coupled with the evidence of his alleged involvement in the crime, positions him as a danger to witnesses and a flight risk. Bryant has been known to use multiple aliases and has previously absconded from release on bail and other forms of court supervision.

The murder of Mizell left a deep scar in the hip-hop community, and the charges against Bryant, Jordan, and Washington represent a significant stride toward achieving justice for his family, friends, and fans. The trial for the three accused is awaited and, if convicted, each defendant faces a minimum of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum term of life imprisonment or the death penalty.

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