Skip to content

Newly-charged Jam Master Jay murder suspect Jay Bryant wants separate Brooklyn trial from two other accused killers

  • Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay's 2002...

    Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay's 2002 murder.

  • Jam Master Jay

    Vince Bucci/Getty Images

    Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell was murdered in 2002.

  • Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay's 2002...


    Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay's 2002 murder.

  • Cesar De Castro

    KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

    Cesar De Castro



The newest suspect in the cold-case murder of hip-hop legend Jam Master Jay wants to have a separate trial from the other two accused killers, since he expects them to blame him for the killing.

The lawyer for Jay Bryant, 49, who was indicted in Brooklyn Federal Court in May for the Run-DMC icon’s murder, floated the idea of a separate trial for his client to alleviate scheduling problems.

But if the schedule can be worked out without splitting the trial, lawyer Cesar de Castro says he expects to file a severance motion regardless.

Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay's 2002 murder.
Jay Bryant, who was charged in Jam Master Jay’s 2002 murder.

“Both of the other defendants will be pointing at us. They may be pointing at each other,” said Bryant’s lawyer, Cesar de Castro.

Bryant was arrested as two other men, Ronald “Tinard” Washington and Karl Jordan Jr., awaited a January 2024 trial in Brooklyn Federal Court for the slaying.

According to federal prosecutors, Bryant was seen entering Jay’s Merrick Blvd. studio in Jamaica, Queens, on Oct. 30, 2002, and his DNA was found on a piece of clothing left at the scene.

Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell was murderedin 2002.

Bryant later admitted to the shooting, though court filings don’t say to whom he made this admission. Even so, federal prosecutors don’t believe Bryant was the triggerman, and expect to present evidence at trial that Jordan fired the fatal shots.

Prosecutors allege that Jordan approached the 37-year-old Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, and fired two shots at close range, striking him once in the head and hitting a second man, Uriel Rincon, in the leg.

De Castro told Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall that his schedule over the next several months includes several trials and complicated hearings — leaving him less time to go over the case and the DNA evidence.

“I just want sufficient time, and the other two defendants in have had time,” he said. If the judge doesn’t want to split the cases over scheduling concerns, de Castro said he’ll fire a severance motion because the defendants will present “antagonistic” defenses.

Cesar De Castro
Cesar De Castro

Hall has already denied a motion by Jordan to sever his trial from Washington because of statements Washington made in a 2003 Playboy magazine story about the murder.

Washington and Jordan were arrested in 2020, though Washington’s defense attorney has said that the government identified him as a suspect in 2006.

Prosecutors have said that Washington and Jordan killed Jay as revenge for cutting them out of a 10-kilo cocaine deal.