A third suspect has been arrested in connection to the murder of rap star Young Dolph who was slain on Nov. 17, 2021, while visiting a local cookie shop in his hometown of Memphis. Shondale Barnett, 27, was detained on Tuesday (Jan. 11) after U.S. Marshals stopped a vehicle near Terre Haute, Ind. being driven by Justin Johnson, an alleged gunman in the murder of Young Dolph. Barnett was a passenger in the vehicle and charged with being an accessory after the fact to first degree murder. According to authorities, he is awaiting extradition to Tennessee.
Johnson, who was wanted on first degree murder and additional charges related to Dolph’s death, appeared before a federal magistrate in Indiana on Wednesday (Jan. 12) and will be extradited back to Memphis. He is currently being held on a federal probation violation stemming from a previous case.
Additional details have emerged regarding the criminal record of Johnson, who has a long history of committing violent acts. A a teen, Johnson, also known as rapper Straight Drop, was held in juvenile custody on charges of aggravated rape and aggravated robbery, and was also involved in a bowling alley shooting that left three people wounded. The 23-year-old has also been arrested on drug and weapons charges in the state of Memphis Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich told a news conference.
Cornelius Smith, another alleged participant in Dolph’s murder, was arrested in Mississippi last month on an auto-theft warrant related to the getaway car used in the shooting. On Tuesday, Smith was indicted by a grand jury on first degree murder and additional charges. He has been extradited back to Memphis and is currently being held in Shelby County Jail.
According to Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, authorities are unwilling to reveal any details regarding a possible motive behind Dolph’s shooting or evidence linking Johnson and Smith to the crime. “We’re just not ready to put that out there right now,” said Davis on Wednesday. “It’s a major case. It’s a big deal.”