Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith, the two men indicted for the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph, appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday (January 19). The two men were arraigned in court during the hearing, which was postponed from the day before after the case was transferred to a new judge.
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.”
Johnson and Smith have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, being convicted felon in possession of a firearm, employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony, and theft of property over $10,000. The attempted first-degree murder charge is in relation to Young Dolph’s brother being present during the shooting, which took the rapper’s life on November 17, outside of a cookie shop in South Memphis.
A third suspect, Shundale Barnett, remains in jail in Indiana on accessory to murder charges.
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