This is another step to closure for Young Dolph’s family.
Young Dolph’s murder suspects, Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith, made their first appearance in court on Wednesday and were arraigned according to VladTV.
During the hearing, both Johnson and Smith stated that they could afford their own attorney, and they are expected back in court on January 28 to report to the judge about securing an attorney. Prosecutor Paul Hagerman then stated, “This judge wants to make sure these defendants have an attorney sooner rather than later. Memphis wants some closure to this thing, and family and media, too.”
The two men face a lot of time behind bars after being charged with a slew of felonies that include first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and theft of property over $10,000.
The first hearing in this case comes two months after the Memphis hip-hop star, whose given name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was shot and killed on Nov. 17 while visiting Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, a bakery in South Memphis that the rapper was known to frequent. He was 36.
A third suspect, Shundale Barnett, 26, who was with Johnson when he was arrested, is awaiting extradition from Indiana, according to the DA’s office. He is faces multiple charges, including accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
Smith was arrested on Dec. 9 in Southaven on an auto-theft warrant involving the white Mercedes Benz vehicle that was used in the killing of Young Dolph, the U.S. Marshals Service said. The vehicle was taken in a carjacking on Nov. 10 at a gas station and was found on Nov. 20 — three days after the murder — behind a home in Orange Mound, where a tipster said it was abandoned.
Smith was extradited from Mississippi to Tennessee last week, according to the DA’s office.
Johnson and Smith are being held without bond in the Shelby County Jail.
Hopefully, they get the maximum sentence.
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