MAY 11: Jam Master Jay, DMC and Rev Run of Run DMC attend Run DMC-Beastie Boys Press Conference on May 11, 1987 at B. Smith's Restaurant in New York City.

Third Person Charged in 2002 Murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay

Third Person Charged in 2002 Murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay

Published Wed, May 31, 2023 at 3:20 PM EDT

More than two decades after the murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay, a third person has been indicted in his murder.

Jay Bryant, 49, has been charged with the murder of Jam Master Jay (real name Jason Mizell), who was gunned down in his Queens, NY recording studio in 2002. Bryant was charged while he was engaged in the trafficking of narcotics according to a superseding indictment filed in federal court in New York's Eastern district. Bryant also faces a firearms charge and is being held on unrelated federal drug charges and is expected to be arraigned later. Bryant was seen entering Jay's recording studio just before the shooting and a piece of clothing at the scene contained his DNA, the prosecutor said according to a detention memo.

An attorney for Bryant said on Tuesday (5/30) that he was just learning of the charges. "Mr. Bryant will be pleading not guilty,” attorney Cesar de Castro said in an email. "Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing. Proving it at trial is another matter.” 

Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr were indicted for Jam Master Jay's murder in 2022. Both men pleaded not guilty and a lawyer for Washington referred to Bryant's indictment a game changer. After the 2002 indictments of Washington and Jordan, the prosecutor's office said that the motive for Jay's murder was related to Mizell's "previous acquisition of 10 kilograms of cocaine from a Midwest supplier."

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