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A third man has been charged in the 2002 murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, the Associated Press reported.

A federal indictment filed Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York officially charged 49-year-old Jay Bryant with the murder of the hip-hop icon, born Jason Mizell. Bryant, who is from Queens, is already in custody on an unrelated drug charge. He is expected to be arraigned on the murder charge at a later time.

Two other men, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr., were previously indicted for Jay’s murder in August 2020.

Jam Master Jay, who helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream along with Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels in the early 1980s, was gunned down on October 30, 2002, in his Queens studio.

At the time of Washington and Jordan’s indictment, authorities described Jay’s murder as a “drug deal gone bad.” In a letter filed with the court, prosecutors say that Bryant entered the studio that night with the two men. He then fled the scene after the shooting.

Prosecutors say that Bryant was seen going into the studio, and his DNA was recovered at the scene.

Considering the fact that Jay’s murder was a cold case for almost two decades before the recent arrests, we are thankful we are one step closer to justice for the hip-hop legend.

After Washington and Jordan Jr. were charged, Jam Master Jay’s family said they had “mixed feelings” about the arrests and charges.

“Upon hearing this news we have mixed emotions,” the Mizell family wrote in a statement at the time of the charges in 2020. “We truly hope that these indictments are a solid step towards justice being served in the murder of Jay.”

Then, they acknowledged that there are “other families out there” who also don’t have closure because of an open case. “We pray that this case gives them hope,” the Mizell Family said.

They ended by saying:

“In spite of all the tragedies we’ve seen this year alone, we take comfort in our family, our faith and in time’s ability to heal all. We can only hope that this news brings awareness to the fact that Black lives do matter.”

According to court documents, Washington and Jordan Jr. broke into Mizell’s studio on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, at around 7:30 p.m on Oct. 30, 2002. The two men were armed. As Washington forced somebody inside the studio to the ground at gunpoint, the court documents say Jordan fired a bullet into Mizell’s head, killing him almost instantly.

Prosecutors said that the two men had “executed” Mizell after he attempted to exclude them from “a multi-kilogram, multistate narcotics transaction.” In July 2002, just months before the killing, court documents say Mizell had received around 10 kilos of cocaine “on consignment” from a Maryland supplier. Washington and Jordan were set to be partners in the deal, but an undisclosed dispute resulted in threats from Mizell to cut them out, according to court documents.

“There was a beef — it didn’t go as planned,” one official explained.

In the months that followed Mizell’s murder at age 37, detectives weighed a number of motives, including a grudge with the rapper 50 Cent, who was a protégé of Jam Master Jay’s. This theory was later tossed.

Investigators who dug into Mizell’s business and personal relationships struggled to find a motive and questioned why someone might want to kill a guy who had not embraced notable rivalries with other people in the industry. The case went cold a couple years later but then reopened in 2016.

Jam Master Jay spent several of his childhood years in the Queens neighborhood of Hollis, which has a rich hip-hop history. His legacy will live on as the acclaimed DJ for Run-DMC.

His studio has been converted into the Hall of Fame studio owned by a new company that has maintained Jay’s legacy via painted murals and several Run-DMC memorabilia that adorns the walls.


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Justice For Jam Master Jay: 3rd Man Charged In The Murder Of Run-DMC Legend  was originally published on