Two people have been charged in connection with the murder of hip hop innovator Jam Master Jay of the seminal group Run-DMC, an infamous New York slaying that’s gone unsolved for 18 years. On Monday, prosecutors announced the 10-count indictment against the alleged suspects Ronald Washington – who is already in federal custody – and Karl Jordan Jnr, who was arrested Sunday. The charges are linked to the events of October 30, 2002, when the pioneering rap music star Jason “Jay” Mizell was fatally shot in the head at his studio in Queens. The artist was 37 years old and a father of three. Jordan Jnr, 36, pleaded not guilty to all counts Monday in a teleconferenced arraignment. Washington, 56, will be arraigned at a later date. Snoop Dogg names his Top 10 rappers of all time on Instagram Both defendants face charges of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking, and firearms-related murder. Jordan also faces several additional narcotics distribution counts. If convicted, each defendant faces 20 years to life in prison, or the death penalty. “They walked in and they murdered him in cold blood,” said Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme in announcing the charges. “For the crime of murder, the passage of time offers you no escape.” According to court documents, the motive was linked to Mizell’s acquisition of cocaine that was intended for distribution in Maryland by a group including Washington and Jordan. An internal dispute resulted in Mizell cutting Washington out of the deal, which according to prosecutors led to the murder plot. Kanye West’s yo-yo relationship with Donald Trump The killing was particularly shocking given the reputation of Run-DMC, a 1980s-era hip hop group known for hits including It’s Tricky and Christmas In Hollis . The trio regularly railed against violent gang culture, which in the early 1990s became associated with rap music. Over the years, investigators had explored a number of possible motives – including that the fatal shooting involved a grudge against fellow Queens-born rapper 50 Cent, who was Jam Master Jay’s protégé. That theory was later dropped. Jam Master Jay’s murder followed a string of executions of rappers in the 1990s, including the notorious shootings of superstars Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. Prior to his death, Mizell became particularly influential in New York as a local cultivator of talent, working with young aspiring rappers and founding a DJ academy.