Run-DMC: Two men convicted of murder over Jam Master Jay death

Two men have been found guilty of murdering Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay in 2002.
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Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. have been found guilty of murdering Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay in 2002, a Brooklyn jury heard on Tuesday (February 27). The hip-hop icon, real name Jason Mizell, was shot in the head in Queens on 30 October 2002, aged 37.

The incident occurred at the US rapper's recording studio after both men were cut out of a drug deal, the trial heard. Washington was Mizell’s childhood friend while Jordan was Mizell’s godson.

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Both men have been charged with one count of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and one count of firearm-related murder. Washington and Jordan now face 20 years to life in prison.

After receiving a guilty verdict, jurors at the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of New York heard Washington yell: "Y'all just killed two innocent people," the Associated Press reports. Both men - who had pleaded not guilty to the charges - reportedly implicated a third man, who has been charged and is being tried separately.

Jay Bryant is expected to stand trial in 2025.

The jury also heard that Jordan fired the gun on the night Jam Master Jay was killed. He was just 18 at the time. Defence lawyers for both men argued there was no physical evidence linking them to the death of Mizell, while Ezra Spilke, Washington’s attorney, warned the court there was a danger of 'convicting the wrong person'.

Jason Mizell formed the popular hip-hop group Run-DMC in 1983 along with his friends Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels. The group rose to fame after a string of hits such as a cover of Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way' and 'It's Like That'.

Run-DMC are celebrated for revolutionising hip-hop in the mainstream and were the first rappers to feature prominently on MTV, Saturday Night Live, and to win a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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