Affidavits: Suspect in rapper Young Dolph’s murder has history of violence and crime

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:19 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 10:28 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Authorities identified a suspect in the November 2021 killing of rapper Young Dolph.

A manhunt is underway right now for 23-year-old Justin Johnson of Memphis.

Investigators say Johnson was already wanted on an outstanding warrant for violation of federal supervised release connected to a previous weapons case.

Johnson is now wanted for first-degree murder, criminal attempt first-degree murder, and theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000. The U.S. Marshals Office, Memphis Police Department, Crime Stoppers, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) are offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to Johnson’s capture.

Court affidavits obtained by Action News 5 show that in January 2017, Johnson was charged with attempted second-degree murder after a shooting at Billy Hardwick’s bowling alley. Witnesses told police Johnson used an assault rifle to settle an argument, wounding three people in the process. His girlfriend, Rikayla Hunter, identified him as the shooter, according to police.

Another court document showed one month later in February 2017, Memphis police found Johnson and another man in a room at a home in Fox Meadows. Officers also found an assault rifle, bag of marijuana, and a scale. Johnson denied the gun was his.

A third court affidavit from May 2018 says Memphis police arrested Johnson at the New Horizon Apartments after he failed to show security guards an I.D. at the front gate. Cops confiscated a loaded Glock 23, bags of marijuana, a digital scale, $147 in cash, and Johnson’s Dodge Charger. Memphis police charged Johnson with unlawful possession of a weapon and drug possession with intent to sell.

Investigators won’t say what the motive was for Young Dolph’s murder.

Johnson is 5′8″ and weighs about 190 pounds. He has the name “Jaiya” tattooed on his right arm. Memphis police say he’s tied to organized criminal gangs and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Call Memphis police at 901-528-CASH if you see him or know where he is. You can also call the U.S. Marshals at (901)275-4562, (901)601-1575, or (731)571-0280.

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