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Musician Jason Mizell aka Jam Master Jay (2001)

Photo: Ethan Miller / REUTERS

More than 20 years after the murder of rap star Jam Master Jay from the hip-hop band Run-DMC, the suspected gunman and a co-defendant have been found guilty in the USA.

A New York court on Tuesday found Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington guilty of all charges, including murder in connection with drug deals.

The sentence will be announced at a later date.

"You just killed two innocent people," Washington said after the verdict as he and Jordan were led out of the courtroom.

Karl Jordan Jr., now 40 years old, is said to have shot the rapper, whose real name is Jason Mizell, in the head on October 30, 2002 in his recording studio in the New York borough of Queens over a dispute over a drug deal.

According to the prosecution, co-defendant Ronald Washington forced eyewitnesses to lie on the ground with his weapon.

Washington was apparently a confidante of the musician.

He is said to have slept on his couch for several days before his death and was already considered a possible suspect or witness in 2007.

The murder of Jam Master Jay shocked Run DMC fans worldwide and was considered one of New York's most famous unsolved criminal cases.

The hip-hop band had repeatedly spoken out against gang violence.

This became increasingly associated with rap and hip-hop in the 1990s.

The band, which also included Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 after hits such as "King of Rock", "Walk This Way" and "It's Like That". – as the second hip-hop group after Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

After Mizell's death, the trio disbanded.

A series of murders of famous rappers had already shocked the USA in the 1990s.

The victims included superstars such as Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG