U.S. Marshals Arrest Two Additional Suspects Wanted for Killing Rapper Young Dolph in Memphis


Three suspects wanted for the murder of rap star Young Dolph have been captured as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Marshals.

Rapper Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was gunned down in a daylight ambush at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis on November 17. Young Dolph was admired for charitable works in Memphis. He organized Thanksgiving food giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, and paid rent and covered funeral costs for people in the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he was raised. When he was killed, the 36-year-old rapper was in Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and visit a cancer center, NPR reports.

After a coordinated investigation by the U.S. Marshals Two Rivers Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, Justin Johnson was captured Tuesday around 3:00 p.m. (C.S.T.) in Indiana, according to a news release by the U.S. Marshals. A murder warrant was issued for Johnson earlier this month. Shondale Barnett, 27, was also arrested Tuesday. Barnett was the passenger of the vehicle Johnson was driving Tuesday.

The third suspect, Cornelius Smith, 32, was indicted on additional counts of attempted first-degree murder, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony, and theft of property over $10,000, according to the Shelby County District Attorney. Smith is being held without bond.

Smith was arrested on December 9 in Southaven on an auto-theft warrant involving the white Mercedes Benz vehicle used in the killing of Young Dolph. The white 2014 Mercedes vehicle was taken in a carjacking on Nov. 10, 2021, at a gas station in the 2800 block of Kirby Road. The vehicle was found on Nov. 20 behind a residence in the 1100 block of Bradley in Orange Mound where a tipster said it was abandoned shortly after the homicide on November 17.

Smith was extradited Tuesday and transferred to the Shelby County Jail from the DeSoto County Jail in Hernando where he had been held since his arrest.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Young Dolph” by Slyguy1255. CC BY-SA 4.0.






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4 Thoughts to “U.S. Marshals Arrest Two Additional Suspects Wanted for Killing Rapper Young Dolph in Memphis”



  2. Nashville Deplorable

    Where’s Black Lives Matter? Where’s the looting and rioting?


      Deplorable Idiocracy

  3. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    I really do miss the era of Jazz and Motown. Gangsta Rap music is devoid of anything positive. As evidence by.