NEW YORK (AP) — Two males accused of homicide within the demise of Run-DMC star Jam Grasp Jay are set to go on trial Monday, greater than 20 years after the trailblazing DJ was shot in his New York Metropolis recording studio.
Opening statements are scheduled in Brooklyn federal court docket for the homicide trial of Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, who prosecutors say killed the 37-year-old Jay over a drug deal in 2002. Each males have pleaded not responsible.
Jay, whose beginning identify was Jason Mizell, labored the turntables alongside rappers Joe “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels because the group helped carry hip-hop into the mainstream within the Eighties with hits like “It’s Difficult” and a remake of Aerosmith’s “Stroll This Manner.”
His slaying rocked the hip-hop world and led the group to disband, however the case went unsolved till the 2 males from his Queens neighborhood had been arrested in 2020. A 3rd man was charged within the capturing final yr and shall be tried individually.
Run-DMC espoused an anti-drug stance in lyrics and PSAs, however prosecutors allege Jay turned concerned in trafficking cocaine within the mid Nineteen Nineties. Previous to his homicide, they are saying he had acquired 10 kilograms (22 kilos) of the drug, which Washington, Jordan and others had been going to distribute in Maryland.
Washington, nonetheless, bought right into a dispute with one other particular person concerned within the scheme and Jay reduce him out of the deal. He and Jordan then confirmed up armed on the DJ’s 24/7 recording studio in Jamaica, Queens, on the night of Oct. 30, 2002, prosecutors allege.
Inside, Washington is accused of waving a gun and ordering one particular person to lie on the ground, whereas Jordan allegedly shot Jay within the head.
Regardless of a number of others being current within the studio on the time of the killing and greater than $60,000 in rewards supplied for info within the aftermath, witnesses remained tight-lipped and the case went chilly for a few years, irritating police and Jay’s household.
Prosecutors say witnesses have now recognized each Washington, 59, and Jordan, 40, because the assailants. Additionally they declare Washington has made statements corroborating his involvement to regulation enforcement and others.
Washington was first named as a attainable suspect within the slaying in 2007, whereas he was on trial for a string of armed robberies, although he maintained he had no involvement. In a Playboy article printed a number of years earlier, he was quoted as saying he was on his solution to the studio the night time of the homicide when he heard gunshots and noticed Jordan fleeing.
Attorneys for Jordan stated in court docket paperwork that his father was a “lifelong buddy” of Jay’s and that their households had been neighbors. They are saying Jordan, then 18, was at his pregnant girlfriend’s dwelling on the time of the homicide and witnesses can place him there.
Jordan additionally faces gun and cocaine fees within the trial to which he has pleaded not responsible. Whereas he has no prior grownup legal file, prosecutors allege he has continued to be concerned in narcotics trafficking and say they’ve footage of him promoting cocaine to an spy.
The lads face a minimum of 20 years in jail if convicted. The federal government has stated it could not search the demise penalty.