The two men accused of killing Hip-Hop legend Jam Master Jay will not face the death penalty if convicted of the murder. According to ABC7, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn revealed capital punishment is off of the table for Karl Jordan and Ronald Washington, the two men charged with crimes related to the violent death of the Run DMC pioneer.
In a letter to the judge, the prosecution revealed their decision to seek life in prison for the accused criminals.
“Please be advised that United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has authorized and directed the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York not to seek the death penalty against defendants Karl Jordan, Jr. and Ronald Washington,” the letter said.
Jordan is accused of firing the shot that killed Jam Master Jay at his recording studio in Queens during a botched drug deal. Washington is accused of conspiring to carry out the hit. The two men were arrested in August 2020, nearly two decades after the shooting occurred. The musician and DJ allegedly obtained a large amount of cocaine intended to be distributed by himself and the alleged assailants. Jordan and Washington were charged with murder while engaging in narcotics trafficking, and firearm-related murder. At the time of the indictment, Washington was behind bars for robbery.
“The defendants allegedly carried out the cold-blooded murder of Jason Mizell, a brazen act that has finally caught up with them thanks to the dedicated detectives, agents and prosecutors who never gave up on this case,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme at the time of the arrest.
Jam Master Jay was fatally shot in the head on October 30, 2002 around 7:30 p.m. at the age of 37. Urieco “Tony” Rinco, who was also at the studio, was shot in the leg. According to CNN, witnesses described the gunman as a young black man in a white sweatsuit or sweatshirt.
In April, Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case aired on ABC, its station apps, and the streaming platform Hulu. According to Deadline, the true-crime feature explored the murder case with new reporting, new interviews with law enforcement, who reveal for the first time complications surrounding the investigation, and details about the 18-year-road to arrests.
Watch a trailer for the documentary below.