A third man has been charged with the 2002 murder of Run-DMC Jam Master Jay star, prosecutors said Tuesday (May 30), in the latest move in a case that has been dragging on for years.
Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York filed an overturned indictment on Tuesday, charging Jay Bryant, 49, in the death of Jason “Jay” Mizell, better known as Jam Master Jay.
Two other men, Ronald Washington and Carl Jordan Jr., were previously indicted in August 2020 for Jay’s murder. The hip-hop head shot took place in his studio on October 30, 2002.
Bryant’s attorney, Cesar de Castro, said in an email that they had just learned of the accusations.
“Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, and applying a very low burden of proof, is one thing. Proving it at trial is another matter,” he said.
Bryant, of Queens, was already being held on unrelated federal drug charges.
At the time the other two men were charged, authorities said Gaye’s death was related to a drug misdeal. In a letter filed with the court on Tuesday, prosecutors said Bryant and the two other men entered the building that evening, then fled after the shooting. They said Bryant was seen entering the building, and his DNA was found at the scene.
Jay was in Run-DMC with Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniel in the early 1980s. The group helped bring hip-hop into the mainstream. Run DMC songs include “King of Rock”, “It’s Tricky” and a new version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”.
For years, Jay’s death was kept as a cold case, with witnesses reluctant to speak despite the offering of reward money.