Young Dolph murder suspect Justin Johnson booked into Memphis jail

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the suspects in the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph was booked into a Tennessee jail on Thursday.

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Justin Johnson, 23, was taken into custody at a truck stop outside Terre Haute, Indiana, WHBQ-TV reported. He was extradited to Memphis and booked into the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center on Thursday.

Johnson faces the following charges:

  • First-degree murder
  • Criminal attempted first-degree murder
  • Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon
  • Employ of a firearm with intent to commit a felony
  • Theft of property $10,000-$60,000

Young Dolph, 36, whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was fatally shot on Nov. 17 while he was inside Makeda’s Butter Cookies, a bakery in South Memphis, according to WHBQ. The shop’s owner, Maurice Hill, told the television station that Young Dolph went into the store to buy cookies when someone drove up and fatally shot the rapper.

Young Dolph released his debut album, “King of Memphis,” in 2016. His second album, “Rich Slave” was released in 2020 and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. He was well known around the Memphis area, where he handed out turkeys for Thanksgiving through the Memphis Athletic Ministries charity, spoke to schoolchildren and donated money to his former high school, WHBQ reported.

>> Rapper Young Dolph killed in shooting in Memphis

Johnson, along with Cornelius Smith and Shundale Barnett, face charges in the rapper’s slaying.

Smith was indicted on first-degree murder charges and theft charges related to the white Mercedes used in Young Dolph’s killing, WHBQ reported.

Barnett has been charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder and theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000, according to the television station.

>> Young Dolph: 2nd suspect in Memphis rapper’s slaying in custody

Before his alleged involvement in the murder of Young Dolph, Johnson, who reportedly raps under the stage name Straight Drop, was arrested for a 2017 triple shooting at a Memphis bowling alley, WHBQ reported. He served only months of his five-year sentence, according to the television station.

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