The family of Jam Master Jay, late DJ for pioneering hip-hop collective RUN-DMC, has been holding out hope for the past 20 years that an investigation into his still-unsolved death will finally come to an end.
Although two longtime suspects are currently being charged in the killing, prosecutors say convicting JMJ’s killer(s) has been difficult given their attempts to “intimidate and silence potential witnesses.”
The alleged murderers, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, first made the argument last month that prosecution simply waited too long and that it’d be impossible for them to make a defense against two-decade-old charges. Federal prosecutors retaliated by calling those claims “particularly hollow,” going on to tell a federal judge, “The government is aware of at least four separate witnesses that the defendants have endeavored to identify and silence through threats and coercion.”
Read more from both sides of the argument below, via Billboard:
“In his motion last month, Jordan argued that ‘hauling him into court’ after decades of delay would cause real problems for his defense. Cell phone records that would support his alibi are no longer available, he said, and witnesses can’t be found to back his arguments.
But on Monday, the feds called those arguments ‘baseless’ – arguing that, if anything, the long delay hurts the government’s ability to prove its charges and that the delay was clearly not an intentional form of gamesmanship.
‘The government may properly delay an indictment for legitimate considerations, including the need to gather and review evidence in a complex investigation,’ prosecutors wrote. ‘That is what occurred here, and the interval between the offense and the indictment was necessary for the government to prove the charged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.’”
Jam Master Jay, born Jason William Mizell, was shot and killed over an alleged drug deal gone bad on Oct. 30, 2002 in his Hollis, Queens music studio while in the midst of a recording session. The case remained cold until Jordan and Washington were hit with murder charges in August 2020. A trial is currently set for February 2023.
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Jam Master Jay’s Murder Case Delayed Due To Witness Intimidation was originally published on blackamericaweb.com