Jam Master Jay Trial Begins Two Decades After His Murder

BYGabriel Bras Nevares2.1K Views
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Jam Master Jay Murder Trial Start Hip Hop News
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A couple of days after the jury selection process began, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington face life in prison if convicted.

Jam Master Jay of Run DMC's murder went unsolved for a long time, but almost 22 years after it, we will at least get an answer when it comes to two prime suspects. Moreover, after the jury selection phase kicked off a few days ago at press time, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr.'s trial began with opening statements on Monday (January 29). They received these federal charges in 2020 for the Brooklyn incident, which they allegedly carried out as revenge for a cocaine deal gone wrong, prosecutors argue. If convicted of these crimes, they face life sentences in prison.

Furthermore, U.S. Disctrict Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall will oversee the trial, which is expected to last a month. When news first broke that Jam Master Jay's alleged killers would face trial this month, many folks expressed a lack of hope in justice, if these are in fact the culprits. For one, some folks did witness the murder and police developed leads upon his loss, but these never came to fruition until the charges in August of 2020. In that way, it's similar to unsolved cases in hip-hop such as the infamous and tragic examples of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.

Jam Master Jay Performing In 2001

Jam Master Jay of Run DMC performs on stage at the Respect Festival, Finsbury Park, London, United Kingdom, 2001. (Photo by Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

However, even though some rumored details of this trial didn't manifest -– such as a double jury -– the details of the incident themselves remain murky. Prosecutors and the charges claim that Washington and Jordan intruded Jam Master Jay's studio on October 30, 2002 at nighttime. Allegedly, Washington threatened another person in the room with a firearm, whereas Jordan shot Jay twice with one bullet striking his head at close range. In addition, prosecutors suggest that Jay had agreed to purchase 10 kilograms of cocaine that the suspects and other individuals distributed in Baltimore. The suspects chose to retaliate against the DJ when he exited the arrangement.

Meanwhile, Jay Bryant will face a separate trial for his alleged involvement in the murder, for which prosecutors charged him in May of 2023. Jordan and Washington maintain that attorneys waited too long to charge them, which will make it more difficult for them to prove their innocence due to faulty witness memory and cell phone records becoming unavailable over time. In September of 2022, a judge dismissed these concerns and questioned how they could counter prosecutors' evidence in the first place. For more news and the latest updates on the Jam Master Jay trial, check back in with HNHH.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.