A third man has been arrested and alleged to have involvement in the 2002 murder of Run-D.M.C. member Jam Master Jay. On Tuesday (May 30), The New York Timesreported that 49-year-old Queens resident Jay Bryant was charged with the murder of JMJ, legal name Jason Mizell, while also engaged in drug trafficking in addition to other drug-related charges. Bryant also faces a firearms charge and is being held in custody on a separate drug-related indictment.
The arrest comes two decades after Mizell was shot and killed at his Queens recording studio on October 20, 2002. In a detention memo, prosecutors claimed that Bryant was seen entering the DJ’s studio on the day of the shooting and a piece of clothing left at the scene contained his DNA.
Two other men, Karl Jordan Jr and Ronald Washington were previously charged in August 2020 over the killing. Along with Bryant, the trio are alleged to have entered the studio and fled after the shooting, with Jordan accused of firing two shots at Mizell at close range, one fatally striking him in the head. Following the 2020 indictment of Jordan and Washington, the prosecutor’s office shared that the murder occurred due to a drug deal gone bad, dependent on Mizell’s “previous acquisition of 10 kilograms of cocaine.”
Jordan, 39, and Washington, 59, both pleaded not guilty, but are currently awaiting trial which is scheduled to begin in January 2024. Last year, a judge dismissed a motion to have their charges dismissed.
Bryant’s legal representation has also indicated that the 49-year-old will plead not guilty.
“Mr. Bryant will be pleading not guilty,” Bryant’s 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.”
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