HipHopWired Featured Video
Run-DMC Performs In New York City

Source: Al Pereira / Getty

Over two decades after the murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, a third man has been charged for his role in the crime that shook up the Hip-Hop world.

On Tuesday (May 30), federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced charges against Jay Bryant of Queens, New York for the 2002 murder. Bryant is currently being detained on an unrelated separate indictment related to drugs. According to the court documents in the unsealed indictment, the charges include murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking.

When contacted for comment, Bryant’s lawyer César de Castro said that his client would plead not guilty to the new charges. “Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing,” Castro stated. “Proving it at trial is another matter.” Bryant’s arraignment for the new indictment has not been scheduled.

Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. are the two other men who’ve been charged with the death of Jam Master Jay, also known as Jason Mizell. Both had murder charges brought against them by prosecutors in August 2020, with authorities blaming the October 2002 shooting in the Hip-Hop icon’s studio on his apparent exclusion of the two from “a multi-kilogram, multistate narcotics transaction” after a dispute in July of that year. Both men are now expected to go to trial in January 2024.

Bryant was spotted entering the building after the shooting according to the indictment, and his DNA was also found at the scene of the crime. The documents go on to detail how the 49-year-old confessed to being there later on and claimed that he was the one who shot Jam Master Jay, a claim that prosecutors feel is false as they believe Jordan is the one who fired the two fatal shots.