Wednesday, 29 May

Third man charged over murder of Run DMC's Jam Master Jay

(From L-R) Reverend Run, Jam Master Jay and DMC formed Run DMC in the early 1980s. Pic: AP

A third man has been charged in relation to the 2002 murder of hip hop pioneer Jam Master Jay.

The DJ, who was a member of the highly-influential trio Run DMC, was shot in the head at his recording studio in Queens, New York.

More than 20 years later, federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment on Tuesday charging Jay Bryant, 49, in relation to the death.

Two other men, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr, had previously been indicted in August 2020 over the murder of the artist, whose real name is Jason Mizell.

Cesar Castro, Bryant's attorney, said: "Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing. Proving it at trial is another matter."

Bryant, from Queens, was in custody already on unrelated federal drug charges.

At the time the other two men were indicted, authorities said the musician's death involved a drug deal gone bad.

In a letter filed with the court on Tuesday, prosecutors said Bryant and the two other men entered the building that evening, and then fled after the shooting.

They said Bryant was seen going into the building, and his DNA was recovered at the scene.

Jay was in Run DMC with Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniel in the early 1980s.

The group is often credited with helping to bring hip hop music into the mainstream.

Run DMC's hits include King Of Rock, It's Tricky and a remake of Aerosmith's Walk This Way.

For years, the hip hop star's death lingered as a cold case, with witnesses reluctant to speak up despite reward money being offered.