Photo: Jam Master Jay | By Tim Stelloh and Alec Hernandez, NBC News / Yahoo | A third person has been indicted in the killing of Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, more than two decades after he was found fatally shot in his New York studio and nearly three years after two men were charged in the crime, officials said Tuesday.

Jay Bryant, 49, was charged with the murder of Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, while engaged in narcotics trafficking, according to a superseding indictment filed in federal court in New York’s Eastern District.

Bryant, who also faces a firearms charge, is being held on unrelated federal drug charges and is expected to be arraigned later, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said.

In a detention memo, the prosecutor’s office said Bryant was observed entering the DJ’s Queens recording studio immediately before the shooting on Oct. 20, 2002. A piece of clothing left at the scene contained his DNA, according to the memo.

Bryant allegedly claimed to an associate that he was the gunman who shot Mizell, but the memo cast doubt on the claim and said evidence to be presented at a coming trial would show that another person charged in the killing, Karl Jordan Jr., fired twice from close range.

One of the shots struck an unidentified person in the leg, the memo says. After Mizell was hit in the head, Bryant, Jordan and a third person, Ronald Washington, fled, the memo says.

Washington, who was accused of pointing a gun at someone inside the studio and ordering the person to lie on the floor, was indicted on the same charges as Bryant. Jordan was charged with those crimes and others, including multiple counts of cocaine distribution.
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Jordan and Washington pleaded not guilty. In a sworn statement, Washington previously said Mizell was a “childhood friend,” and he described the detectives investigating the case as hostile.
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After the 2020 indictment of Washington and Jordan, the prosecutor’s office said the motive for the killing hinged on Mizell’s “previous acquisition of 10 kilograms of cocaine” from a supplier in the Midwest.

“The cocaine was allegedly intended to be distributed in Maryland by Washington, Jordan and other co-conspirators. Mizell had recently informed Washington that the defendant would not be involved in distributing the narcotics in Maryland, which precipitated the murder conspiracy.”
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Jason William Mizell, better known by his stage name Jam Master Jay, was an American musician and DJ. He was the DJ of the influential hip hop group Run–D.M.C. During the 1980s, Run-D.M.C. became one of the biggest hip-hop groups and are credited with breaking hip-hop into mainstream music.

For his skill re-working riffs from classic guitar records, he was ranked No. 10 on Spin’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. On October 30, 2002, while recording new music at his studio in the Jamaica section of Queens, New York City, Mizell was shot and murdered by an unknown assailant.

Early life
Jason Mizell was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Jesse Mizell and Connie Thompson Mizell (later Connie Mizell-Perry) whose other children are Marvin L. Thompson and Bonita Jones.

At age 3, Jason began playing trumpet. He learned to play bass, guitar, and drums. He performed at his church and in various bands prior to discovering turntablism. After he and his family moved to Hollis, Queens, New York City in 1975, he discovered the turntables and started DJing at the age of 13. For a time, he lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where turntablism pioneer DJ Def Lou Hauck taught him to crossfade. He caught on quickly because of his musical experience and after a year of Djing, he felt that he was good enough to play in front of people.

Originally calling himself, Jazzy Jase, he attended high school at Andrew Jackson High School in Queens.

Photo: Jam Master Jay
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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