Both of Rapper Young Dolph’s Suspected Killers Are Now in Custody

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/Shelby County District Attorney
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/Shelby County District Attorney

The two men who allegedly shot and killed rapper Young Dolph last year were off the streets Tuesday, authorities said.

Justin Johnson, 23, was arrested in Indiana on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and property theft. He had proclaimed his innocence and promised to turn himself in Monday on his Instagram profile, but did not follow through on the pledge.

The same day, Cornelius Smith, 32, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, unlawful weapons possession, illegal use of a firearm, and property theft in connection with the slaying.

<div class="inline-image__credit">Bennett Raglin/Getty</div>
Bennett Raglin/Getty

Smith was arrested last month on a warrant for automobile theft relating to the getaway car used after the alleged murder, a white Mercedes-Benz sedan. He is being held without bail. Police allege the car was stolen on Nov. 10, a week before the shooting. Authorities recovered it three days after.

Young Dolph, legal name Adolph Thornton Jr., was shot and killed in Memphis on Nov. 17 at midday while visiting a cookie shop he loved, Makeda’s Butter Cookies. He was 36. He had survived previous shootings, two in 2017 alone.

Johnson had been using the accusations against him like a viral tweet, dropping a new song amid the height of his notoriety instead of turning himself in to police. He released “Track Hawk” Jan. 10, the same day he had promised he would to surrender himself into custody.

The district attorney for Shelby County, where the two men are charged, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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