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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:00am January 13, 2022,

Two men wanted over the murder of rapper Young Dolph are now in custody

Two men have been indicted in the shooting death of Young Dolph -- Left Photo @youngdolph on Instagram

The two suspected gunmen who were declared wanted for the fatal shooting of popular Memphis rapper Young Dolph have been arrested and indicted, law enforcement officials announced, according to FOX13.

Officials, on Wednesday, shared an official indictment that was filed against the suspects charged in connection with the 36-year-old rapper’s death. Born Born Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., Young Dolph was fatally shot on November 17 last year while he was inside a cookie shop in South Memphis.

The suspected gunmen were identified as 23-year-old Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith, 32. The U.S. Marshals announced Johnson was apprehended in Indiana on Tuesday. Smith was also taken into custody on December 9. And besides being charged in connection with Young Dolph’s killing, Smith has also been charged with attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on the rapper’s brother. The two were in Makeda’s Butter Cookies when the suspected gunmen pulled over and opened fire.

The Marshals named Johnson as a person of interest in Young Dolph’s killing less than a week before his arrest. Officials also offered a $15,000 reward for information that would lead to his arrest. Soon before his eventual capture, Johnson shared a post on social media claiming he was going to turn himself in at a specified location. The Shelby County District Attorney’s office, however, said he did not show up.

Two men wanted over the murder of rapper Young Dolph are now in custody
Cornelius Smith (left) and Justin Johnson (right) — Photos via Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Johnson, who is reportedly a rapper and goes by the stage name Straight Drop, was also previously arrested in connection with a triple shooting incident in 2017, FOX13 reported. And though he was sentenced to five years in prison for that offense, he was released a few months after his incarceration.

Authorities said the white Mercedes Benz vehicle that was used in Young Dolph’s killing was carjacked at a gas station on November 10. And Johnson’s December 9 arrest was in connection with that theft. A tipster also told authorities that was the vehicle used in Young Dolph’s November 17 killing. Law enforcement officials found the vehicle three days after the 36-year-old rapper’s murder.

Johnson has been charged with first-degree murder and theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000. The 23-year-old suspect also has an outstanding warrant for violation of federal release related to a weapons conviction, FOX13 reported.

Smith, on the other hand, faces a slew of charges including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, unlawfully carrying or possessing a weapon, employment of a firearm with intent to commit a felony, and theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 13, 2022


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