Jam Master Jay was gunned down inside of his Jamaica, Queens studio in 2002. In August 2020, Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr., were finally indicted for the murder, while a third suspect, Jay Bryant, was charged later. As the proceedings drag on, Brooklyn Federal Court Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall ruled on Friday (October 13) that Bryant will stand trial separately from his co-defendants. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Bryant argued each suspect is planning to point the finger at one another, which would complicate jury deliberations.
“Bryant argues that ‘there is no plausible scenario’ in which his co-defendants do not turn to the third-party witness their claims of innocence,” Hall wrote. “And at argument, Bryant invited the court to ‘read the tea leaves’ on this issue. I have. Upon a searching review of the record, it is clear that at least Jordan has sufficiently telegraphed that he intends to call the third-party witness to whom Bryant made his alleged admission.”
Although federal prosecutors claim Bryant admitted to pulling the trigger, was seen entering the studio and was linked to the crime scene by DNA evidence, the defense maintains Bryant wasn’t the triggerman and plans to introduce evidence suggesting Jordan fired the fatal shots. Bryant’s attorney, Cesar de Castro, will present “three irreconcilable theories” to the jury: one portraying Bryant as innocent, another claiming he acted alone as the shooter and a third in which he was involved but didn’t fire a gun.
Jordan plans to introduce another third-party witness that will implicate Bryant, which Judge Hall agreed would complicate things if all three defendants were tried at the same time. Jordan and Washington remain in jail as they await their trial scheduled for January in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Prosecutors believe Washington and Jordan wanted revenge on the Run-DMC legend for cutting them out of a 10-kilo cocaine deal.