Nanawale murder suspect says Jay Z possessed his body

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A man accused of slaying his landlord in Nanawale Estates almost three years ago said hip-hop mogul Jay Z possessed his body at the time, according to two psychologists who examined the man to determine his fitness for trial.


A man accused of slaying his landlord in Nanawale Estates almost three years ago said hip-hop mogul Jay Z possessed his body at the time, according to two psychologists who examined the man to determine his fitness for trial.

Psychologist Dr. Duke Wagner said the rapper and music producer “has been a constant figure” in the world of 39-year-old Jason Russell Jump, accused of second-degree murder for allegedly bludgeoning James V. Johns, a 54-year-old wheelchair user, to death with a sharp instrument in a toolshed on Johns’ Seaview Road property Dec. 16, 2012.

Wagner testified Friday in Hilo District Court that Jump said authorities should “put Jay Z in prison for the murder of James Johns and put other Illuminati who’ve been attacking (Jump) in prison, too.”

The contested fitness hearing, requested by Jump’s court-appointed attorney, Stanton Oshiro, is because examiners are split 2-1 in favor of finding Jump — who was previously found unfit to stand trial — fit for trial.

Jump, who is confined at Hawaii State Hospital, was present at the hearing. He didn’t testify, but occasionally leaned over to talk to Oshiro during proceedings.

Wagner opined Jump is unfit for trial. He said Jump suffers from persecutory delusional disorder and said he doesn’t believe Jump to be malingering, or faking symptoms of mental illness.

“I think the consistency of psychotic symptoms and especially something that’s delusional in nature, it’s hard to maintain the nature, and, let’s say, the exactness of the content,” Wagner said. “People that are malingering are going to make mistakes as far as accuracy. They’re not going to be consistent over years in remembering exactly what to say, to say it in a similar or the same manner and … do this in a free-floating manner. He was consistent in that sense.”

Psychologist Dr. Alex Lichton, the state’s designated examiner, acknowledged under questioning by Oshiro that he also was aware of claims Jay Z took over Jump’s body.

Lichton said that in video supplied to him and the other examiners by Oshiro, which was shot before the homicide, Jump “addressed himself or described himself as the ‘Son of Man’” — a sobriquet usually reserved for Jesus Christ. He said Jump also complained of pain in his stomach allegedly caused by possession by others and continually referred to “Illuminati.”

Lichton diagnosed Jump as a schizophrenic but thinks Jump is fit to stand trial.

The third examiner, psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Jacobs, said he was able to speak to Jump for only 10 minutes before Jump left. He said Jump was “uncooperative” and departed “of his own volition.” Jacobs testified Jump is malingering and said, “the video I reviewed was mainly of a man who was high on drugs.”

“He was very intoxicated,” Jacobs said in a response to a question about grandiose and delusional claims reportedly made by Jump. “People who are very intoxicated will say all sorts of things.”

Jacobs said he also thinks Jump is fit for trial.

Deputy Prosecutor Shannon Kagawa called only one witness, Dr. Edmund Valerio of Hawaii State Hospital, who was not a fitness examiner but is Jump’s attending psychiatrist at the mental hospital in Kaneohe, Oahu. Judge Barbara Takase allowed Valerio to testify over the objection of Oshiro.

Valerio testified Jump is, in his opinion, malingering, fit for trial and, over time, has voiced his delusions less frequently in sessions. He said Jump would use delusional physical complaints to ask for powerful opioid painkillers, such as morphine and Demerol.

“He would say that celebrities are eating away at his stomach,” Valerio testified.

Valerio and Jacobs both noted Jump took the same test before and after required legal fitness preparation courses at the hospital, passed the test beforehand but failed it afterward.

Valerio said there are other patients in the hospital with messiah complexes, adding Jump doesn’t refer to himself as the “Son of Man” or the “Chosen One” there.

“If he did, he’d be one of four calling himself the ‘Son of Man’ on the ward,” Valerio said.

Valerio also opined Jump was “intoxicated” on the video supplied by Oshiro and said Jump, while feigning schizophrenia, disparages actual schizophrenics in daily interactions.

“If he’s hearing voices, why is he telling people to shut up?” Valerio said.

In addition, Valerio testified Jump is a “very good” chess player and skilled negotiator who sometimes demands Snickers candy bars for cooperating with requests.

“He’s very coherent; he knows what he’s doing,” the psychiatrist said.


Takase is scheduled to rule on Jump’s fitness for trial at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 24.

Email John Burnett at

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