18 August 2020 00:52
Two men have been charged over the 2002 shooting of Run-DMC rapper Jam Master Jay, in one of New York's most notorious unsolved killings, two law enforcement officials said. Washington is currently in prison for a string of armed robberies he committed while fleeing from police in the wake of the death of Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell. Prosecutors in court papers filed at the time said Washington brandished a gun while ordering people in Mr Mizell's recording studio to lie on the ground while another man killed him on October 30, 2002. Mr Mizell was shot once in the head with a.40-calibre bullet by a masked assailant at his studio in the New York borough of Queens, police said at the time. New York officials and Mr Mizell's friends offered more than $60,000 in reward money but witnesses refused to come forward.
Before sleeping on Mr Mizell's couch, Washington had been linked to the fatal 1995 shooting of Randy Walker, a close associate of the late Tupac Shakur. Run-DMC, whose other members were Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniel, were hip hop pioneers in the 1980s. Their biggest hits included It's Tricky and the Aerosmith cover Walk This Way. Two men have been charged over the killing of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay in 2002. Two men have been charged over the killing of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay in 2002. The DJ, whose real name was Jason "Jay" Mizell, was fatally shot inside a recording studio in Queens, New York City on October 30, 2002.
Washington is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies he committed while on the run from police after Jay's 2002 murder. "This is a case that has been around for a long time," acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said at a news conference in New York announcing the charges, according to The Associated Press. Five years after the crime, Washington – who had reportedly been living on a couch at Jay's home in the days before the murder – was named as a suspected accomplice, but was never convicted. According to prosecutors at the time, Washington "pointed his gun at those present in the studio, ordered them to get on the ground and provided cover for his associate to shoot and kill Jason Mizell," Jam Master Jay's real name. Police identified at least four people in the studio with Mizell, including the two gunmen. The city and Mizell's friends offered more than $60,000 in reward money, but witnesses refused to come forward and the case went cold. Washington and Jordan were engaged in a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine at the time of Jay's killing, according to their indictment. Prosecutors did not say at the conference if Jay had any role in the conspiracy, but a news release about the indictments revealed that the motive involved Mizell's acquisition of 10 kilograms of cocaine from a narcotics supplier in the Midwest. Washington, who is imprisoned in Kentucky, will be arraigned later this week, prosecutors said. Mizell, known professionally as Jam Master Jay, was a member of Run-DMC, the hip-hop sensation behind hits such as "It's Tricky" and the Aerosmith remake/collaboration "Walk This Way," which fused rap and rock 'n' roll. Police said two gunmen were buzzed into the building, went up to the second-floor studio and shot Mizell once. The 2018 Netflix documentary "ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?" included interviews with several of Mizell's friends, family members and acquaintances, who talked about what they've heard regarding suspects in his murder. Mizell joined Run (Joseph Simmons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels), all natives of Queens, in 1982, spinning turntables for the two rappers who had just graduated from high school. Jam Master Jay provided the thumping beats behind Rev. Run and DMC's rhymes and the trio became one of the biggest and most influential hip-hop groups of the 1980s, credited with breaking rap music into the mainstream.