Federal officials and members of the New York City Police Department said on Monday that they plan to announce charges on two suspects connected to the murder. The assailants have been identified as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan. Washington is already in prison while Jordan was arrested by ATF and NYPD officers on Sunday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York later held a press conference on Jordan and Washington's charges.
According to prosecutors, Jay was murdered for allegedly leaving Jordan and Washington out of “a multi-kilogram, multistate narcotics transaction.” It is also alleged that Jay received a package of 10 kilos of cocaine just months before his murder. Both of the suspects are said to have been partners of Jay's but were left out of the drug deal following a disagreement.
Jam Master Jay was born Jason William Mizell and was the DJ for the legendary group Run-DMC. Run-DMC along with LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys helped lay the foundation for Def Jam to become the iconic label it is today.
Jay was murdered in his native Queens, New York while at a recording studio on Oct. 30, 2002. Until now, no suspects had been charged or motives identified. In fact, the lack of leads and cooperation led to the NYPD ruling the murder a cold case in 2017.
This isn't the first time Ronald "Tenad" Washington name has been tossed around in connection to Jam Master Jay's murder. In 2007, Washington was accused of being the armed accomplice of a second unidentified gunman who was allegedly the trigger man. Walker is also suspected to be connected to the murder of Tupac Shakur's former associate Randy "Stretch" Walker.
Although none stuck, several possible motives have been thrown around for Jay's death. Some believed that it was retaliation for working with 50 Cent who at that time was blackballed by the industry and had an infamous beef with the Supreme Team street organization. Others think that Jay had debt in excess of $500,000 that he borrowed from an associate with street ties and that his death came when the killers were sent to collect on the money owed.
The nature of his death and the impact he and Run-DMC had on hip-hop has led to Jam Master Jay being immortalized throughout the music industry.