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Murder Suspect Claims to be Possessed by Jay-Z

Jay Z at the 16th Annual GQ "Men Of The Year" Celebration, ChateWhen it comes to possible psychological disorders and crime, the details can be pretty incredible.  A ruling hasn’t taken place but, currently, a court in Hawaii is trying to determine a murder suspect’s fitness to stand trial and, in the process, some very unusual claims have emerged.

Jason Russell Jump, 39, is accused of attacking his landlord, James V. Johns. The victim was bludgeoned with a sharp instrument and died on December 16, 2012. As part of his defense, Jump claims that the crime occurred while he was being possessed by rap superstar, Jay-Z. The defendant has been examined by several psychologists but they have yet to reach a consensus.

The experts were given a video of Jump (filmed before the murder took place) which contained footage of the him claiming to be the “Son of Man” while complaining about stomach pain that he attributed to being possessed by the rapper and the Illuminati.

During a hearing on October 9, 2015, it was revealed that Jump told Dr. Duke Wagner that investigators should “put Jay Z in prison for the murder of James John” along with other members of the Illuminati “who’ve been attacking [Jump] in prison, too.” The psychologist concluded by saying that, in his opinion, Jump suffers from persecutory delusional disorder and should be deemed unfit for trial.

Two other psychologists disagree. State-designated examiner, Dr. Alex Lichton, and psychiatrist, Dr. Leonard Jacobs, both believe that there is nothing compromising Jump’s fitness.  Jacobs, who met with the accused for just 10 minutes, also stated that the Jump was uncooperative, left their evaluation “of his own volition” and appeared to be “a man who was high on drugs” in the video, as opposed to being someone suffering from a mental illness.

These observations were supported by the testimony of Dr. Edmund Valerio, Jump’s attending psychiatrist at the state’s mental hospital who added that his patient “knows what he’s doing” and is very coherent. It was his opinion that, in an attempt to secure painkillers such as morphine, Jump acted delusional.

Still, State Prosecutor, Shannon Kagawa, will have to wait until November 14, 2015 when a judge is schedule to issue a ruling on Jump’s fitness to stand trial.

Of course, this raises serious questions about mental health and the judicial system. In a situation like this, it is imperative that an expert be used to assess a suspect’s emotional health in order to ensure a fair trial. It seems as if they have employed the services of more than one in order to be as thorough as possible. With claims as serious as Jump’s it makes sense. It will be interesting to see how the judge rules next month.


Murder Suspect Claims to be Possessed by Jay-Z

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Murder Suspect Claims to be Possessed by Jay-Z. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Oct 2015
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