One suspect arrested, another man indicted in rapper Young Dolph’s slaying in Memphis

Two men accused in the November killing of rapper Young Dolph in Memphis are in custody, authorities said Tuesday.

Justin Johnson, 23, named a suspect last week, was apprehended in Indiana on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Cornelius Smith, 32, who was already in custody, was indicted Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said in a statement.

Young Dolph, 36, was at a bakery in his hometown of Memphis on Nov. 17 when he was fatally shot after two men got out of a Mercedes-Benz and opened fire, Memphis police have said.

A motive in the killing has not been released.

On Wednesday, the marshals service said an arrest warrant had been issued for Johnson in connection with the rapper’s slaying. A $15,000 reward had been offered.

It was not immediately clear if Johnson had an attorney.

The marshals statement Tuesday did not say where in Indiana Johnson was arrested. A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday.

Smith was arrested Dec. 9 in Southaven on an auto theft warrant related to the Mercedes used in the killing, Weirich said.

He also faces an attempted murder charge and other counts. Young Dolph’s brother, who was with the rapper at the time of the killing, was the victim in the attempted murder, the prosecutor said.

Online court records did not appear to show an attorney for Smith Tuesday night. He was extradited to Shelby County and was being held without bail, Weirich said.

Smith was arrested Dec. 9 in Southaven on an auto theft warrant related to the Mercedes used in the killing, Weirich said.

He also faces an attempted murder charge and other counts. Young Dolph’s brother, who was with the rapper at the time of the killing, was the victim in the attempted murder, the prosecutor said. Police said after the shooting that no one else was shot.

Online court records did not appear to show an attorney for Smith Tuesday night. He was extradited to Shelby County and was being held without bail, Weirich said.

Young Dolph, whose name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was in was in Memphis for an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway when he was killed, his attorney said at the time.

Young Dolph launched his career with a series of mixtapes beginning in 2008, moving up the hip-hop ranks and the Billboard charts in 2016 with gold-certified hits like “100 Shots.” His 2020 album, “Rich Slave,” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

Chance the Rapper and Gucci Mane were among the musicians who expressed shock and sadness over his death. A public memorial was held at the FedExForum, which is the home of the Memphis Grizzlies and University of Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team.

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