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What Young Dolph’s murder suspect could face if he turns himself in

Justin Johnson posted on social media that he planned to turn himself in on Monday
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:59 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Monday began with much anticipation for followers of the investigation into the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph.

Over the weekend, 23-year-old Justin Johnson, the man who has been named as a suspect in Young Dolph’s murder, posted on his Instagram story that he intended to turn himself in at 201 Poplar, claiming that he is innocent.

Monday came and went, and it did not appear Johnson followed through on his plan.

“I think he’s optimistic in his view,” said criminal defense attorney Steve Farese.

Action News 5 asked Farese about the journey Johnson could face if he were to turn himself in.

“I would expect him to be in jail for a few days before they have a bond hearing,” Farese said.

At the bond hearing, the judge would put criminal history into consideration.

Johnson’s criminal history was highlighted by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in his latest weekly update.

Regardless of criminal history, Farese says the publicity of the case will be a large factor in the amount of the bond.

“This is a highly publicized case, which shouldn’t have anything to do with bond, but realistically it does,” Farese said. “I expect it to be high.”

Following a bond hearing comes the course of bringing the case to trial.

Farese said every defense attorney handles cases in their own way and requesting an expedited hearing is one of those ways.

With a massive backlog of jury trials in Shelby County due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the verdict of this case may be farther than most would like.

“With COVID-19, the requirements are now different, as far as getting a speedy trial,” said Farese. “Right now, it’s highly speculative to try to guess when a trial would be, but I would not look for this case to be tried this year.”

Memphis police would not confirm their knowledge of Johnson’s Instagram post, nor would they confirm if they had any knowledge of Johnson’s plan to turn himself in.

There is also no new information on the second gunman involved in the Young Dolph shooting.

This is still an active investigation.

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