According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York objected to a January 29, 2024 start date for the trial. Prosecutors cited concerns about delays in the Jam Master Jay murder case after one of their witnesses died.
“The government is also prejudiced by the extended delay as one key witness has passed away during the pendency of the case,” the prosecution wrote. “Witness intimidation and tampering remain a significant concern. Indeed, witnesses in this case have received threats since the unsealing of the indictment.”
Prosecutors accuse Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington of killing Jam Master Jay in 2002. Jordan and Washington’s trial was originally set to begin this month, but a judge adjourned it in January.
Last month, the court asked the prosecution and defense about their availability for a January 2024 trial. Prosecutors argued for a 2023 start date in a letter sent on Wednesday (February 8).
“Several witnesses have expressed concerns about the defendants’ ability to identify and threaten them, which is now an even greater concern in light of the additional 11-month trial delay and recent government disclosures regarding witness statements and expected trial testimony,” they wrote. “Given that the government and defense cases will likely take less than three weeks in total, a trial date before January 2024 is both appropriate and feasible.”
Prosecutors suggested scheduling the Jam Master Jay murder trial for November 2023. They also dismissed the need to wait for one of Washington’s lawyers to proceed.
“Counsel for Jordan have confirmed that they remain available to try the case in November 2023,” prosecutors wrote. “Counsel for Washington also stated that they would be available to try the case in November 2023 during the status conference, but now represent that one of the attorneys will be unavailable in November due to a four-to-six-week trial scheduled to commence on September 11, 2023 before the Honorable Carol B. Amon. Given the length of the adjournment and the number of attorneys representing defendant Washington, the government does not see this as an impediment to beginning the trial in November 2023 or earlier.”
Authorities charged Jordan and Washington with murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder. The two face up to life in prison if convicted.