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Jury to commence deliberations Thursday in murder trial of Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master Jay

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The commencement of jury deliberations is scheduled for Thursday morning in the murder trial implicating two individuals in the killing of Run-D.M.C.’s renowned figure, Jam Master Jay, whose birth name was Jason Mizell.

Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. stand accused of fatally shooting Jay at his recording studio in Queens back in 2002, purportedly stemming from a drug-related dispute. Contrary to the prevailing perception of the DJ’s staunch anti-drug stance, the prosecution presents a narrative challenging this notion.

Both defendants have entered pleas of not guilty, alongside a third individual indicted last May, who will face a separate trial. The conclusion of the trial’s arguments unfolded in Brooklyn Federal Court, with the defense presenting its closing statements on Wednesday, preceded by the prosecution’s case on Tuesday. In the event of a conviction, the accused individuals could face a minimum of 20 years behind bars, as prosecutors have confirmed that they will not pursue the death penalty.

The fatal incident occurred on October 30, 2002, within Jay’s studio, marking yet another tragedy within the hip-hop community following the untimely deaths of Tupac Shakur in 1996 and The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997. Despite extensive rewards offered and a plethora of theories surrounding Jay’s demise, the investigation stagnated, hampered by a dearth of cooperation from potential witnesses, as acknowledged in court filings encompassing a voluminous array of tips and leads.

Over the years, prosecutors assert that significant progress has been made in the case, attributed to diligent efforts such as interviewing new individuals, conducting additional ballistics examinations, and securing cooperation from pivotal witnesses. However, defense attorneys have countered these assertions, contending that prosecutors delayed indicting Washington and Jordan, thereby impeding their ability to mount a robust defense.

According to authorities, the fatal encounter transpired when the two accused individuals confronted Jay at his studio, gaining entry with assistance. Prosecutors allege that Washington wielded a firearm, coercing a witness to the ground, while Jordan purportedly fired the fatal shot that claimed the life of the 37-year-old DJ and injured another witness.

The prosecution maintains that the motive behind the killing stemmed from Washington’s ire over Jay’s purported intention to exclude him from a cocaine distribution scheme in Maryland, purportedly involving 22 pounds of the illicit substance. Conversely, Jay’s family vehemently refutes any association between the DJ and drug-related activities.

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