Jam Master Jay's Godson and Longtime Friend Found Guilty of His 2002 Murder

The two men were indicted in 2020.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Two men have been found guilty in the 2002 murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay, putting an end to a case that's been under investigation for two decades.

On Tuesday, a federal jury charged Karl Jordan, Jr., Jay's godson, with firing the bullet that killed the hip-hop icon, while prosecutors stated Ronald Washington, the DJ's longtime friend, helped orchestrate the murder in response to being left out of a drug deal. Both men were indicted in 2020.

The guilty verdicts came after prosecutors called 35 witnesses to the stand while the defense only called one in a three week long trial. Jordan and Washington each face a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, but they will be able to fight the verdict in two stages, one with a judge and the other in federal appeals court.

Jam Master Jay's murder occurred at his music studio in Queens, New York in October 2002. The investigation stood as one of the longest unsolved murders in hip-hop history alongside the killings of 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. While there were witnesses who saw the murder in the studio, charges weren't filed until August 2020.

According to prosecutors, Jay started selling drugs to support himself and his family once Run-DMC's popularity died downWashington and Jordan were also involved, along with a third person, Jay Bryant, who's trial will begin in 2026.

Two witnesses, Uriel "Tony" Rincon and Lydia High, who witnessed the killing, gave testimonies that helped land the guilty verdict. Rincon identified both Washington and Jordan while stating the latter was the gunman. High identified Washington and stated he had partnered up with an unknown shooter. Both Rincon and High said they didn't speak on what they saw out of fear of retaliation.

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