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2 men arrested for murder of Run-D.M.C.'s Jam Master Jay

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It's been nearly 18 years since Run-D.M.C.'s Jam Master Jay (born Jason Mizell) was gunned down at a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens, and some expressed doubt that a killer-- or killers-- would ever be brought to justice.

But now Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, Jr., have been indicted on charges of murder while engaged in drug trafficking and authorities believe the fatal shooting stemmed from a cocaine deal gone wrong.

Prosecutors said that the two men “executed” Mizell after he sought to exclude them from “a multi-kilogram, multi-state narcotics transaction.” In July of 2002, just months before the murder, court papers say Mizell had received about 10 kilos of cocaine “on consignment” from a supplier in Maryland.

Washington and Jordan were supposed to have been his partners in the deal, but after some sort of dispute, Mizell threatened to cut them out.

According to court papers filed today, an armed Washington and Jordan broke into Mizell’s studio in Queens, with Washington forcing someone inside the studio to the ground at gunpoint, while Jordan fired a bullet into Mizell’s head, killing him almost instantly.

Jam Master Jay was only 37.

Run-D.M.C. were one of the biggest hip hop groups in music are credited with bringing hip hop into the mainstream. Here's Jam Master Jay in his prime with bandmates Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels...

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Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.