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Young Dolph murder suspect faces judge in Shelby County

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 9:13 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One suspect charged in the murder of rapper Young Dolph faced a judge in Shelby County Thursday.

Cornelius Smith, 32, sits at 201 Poplar without bond.

It was a short hearing, lasting less than one minute. Smith appeared handcuffed in a red jumpsuit and a mask.

He was indicted on attempted first-degree murder charges, being a 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.

Smith was arrested Dec. 9 in Southaven on an auto-theft warrant involving the white Mercedes Benz used in the shooting death of Young Dolph. That Mercedes was stolen in a carjacking Nov. 10 at a Kroger gas station and found abandoned behind a residence in Orange Mound shortly after Young Dolph’s homicide Nov. 17.

The other man charged in connection to Young Dolph’s murder, Justin Johnson, was captured in Indiana.

And another man, Shundale Barnett, who is originally from Memphis but lives in Dallas, faces charges of accessory after the fact for helping Johnson.

As for Smith, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said this isn’t his first run-in with the law.

“He has a prior from 2011,” she said. “A criminal attempt aggravated robbery and aggravated assault in which he received a three-year sentence.”

This is an ongoing investigation.

Wednesday, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said other arrests could be possible down the line.

Smith’s next court date is Jan. 18.

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