Nearly two decades after the slaying of hip-hop star Jam Master Jay, federal prosecutors said Monday they have solved one of New York City’s most enduring unsolved killings, charging two men while suggesting the artist, celebrated for his anti-drug stance, may have been ambushed over a cocaine deal.
The men were identified in court papers as Ronald Washington, who 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 death, and Karl Jordan Jr., who is also charged with engaging in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy in 2017.
“This is a case that has been around for a long time,” acting U.S. attorney Seth DuCharme said at a news conference announcing the charges.
Jason (Jay) Mizell, known professionally as Jam Master Jay, was a member of 1980s hip-hop sensation Run-D.M.C. with Joseph (Run) Simmons and Darryl (DMC) McDaniel. Their hits included It’s Tricky, Christmas in Hollis and the Aerosmith remake collaboration Walk This Way.