The murder trial for two men accused of shooting and killing Jam Master Jay is set to begin almost 20 years after the Run-D.M.C. legend’s death. According to AllHipHop, the trial of Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. is scheduled to begin later this year, with jury selection starting Sept. 22.
The trial’s opening statements and testimonies will continue on Sept. 26, the outlet writes. Of course, there’s a possibility that trial proceedings could be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which case the trial will be postponed to the following February.
As reported by REVOLT, Washington and Jordan were charged with Jay’s shooting death in 2020. Washington is currently incarcerated on a federal robbery conviction, while Jordan was arrested and taken into custody for Jay’s death on Aug. 16, 2020.
A grand jury later indicted the two men on murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder charges.
“They shot him in cold blood,” Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme said at a press conference at the time. “Our office along with our federal partners and the NYPD started working that case in the early 2000s, very soon after the murder and there were a lot of challenges that we faced right away. In fact, one of the first cases that I worked on when I was here as a prosecutor in 2008 was this very case. These gentlemen and our team were able to accomplish what I was frankly not then able to accomplish.”
“It’s really through their hard work and the work of the Queens cold case detectives squad, the FBI who was with us at the outset and the ATF who had joined us along the way, really, really never gave up on this case,” DuCharme continued. “It was important to us then and it remains extremely [important] to us now to bring justice to the victim, his family and his friends and the community that cared so much about those events.”
Prosecutors believe Washington and Jordan shot and killed Jay at his recording studio in Jamaica, Queens on Oct. 30, 2002. The three men were allegedly planning to sell cocaine in Maryland together, but the hip hop pioneer cut Washington out of the deal at the last minute.
Federal prosecutors believe this led Washington and Jordan to target Jay at his studio, where Jordan allegedly shot and killed Jay and Washington pointed his gun at witnesses.
The two men’s trial is expected to last roughly two weeks. Federal prosecutors previously said they will not pursue the death penalty.