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Man accused of ordering hit on Young Dolph pleads not guilty

Hernandez Govan pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges during his arraignment in court Thursday morning.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The third suspect indicted in the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in court Thursday morning.

Hernandez Govan, 43, was indicted Nov. 10, 2022, on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree murder, and criminal attempted first-degree murder. The D.A. said he's accused of ordering a hit on Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr.

Govan is due back in court Dec. 16, 2022, for a report date. He remains in the Shelby County Jail without bond.

RELATED: Third suspect indicted for murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph

The first two suspects arrested - Justin Johnson, 24, and Cornelius Smith, 32, - are due back in court on January 20, 2023. Johnson and Smith were indicted in January 2022 on charges of first-degree murder, criminal attempted first-degree murder, unlawful carrying and possession of a firearm, employment of a firearm with intent to commit a felony, and theft of property.

RELATED: Young Dolph murder suspect asks court to move him to Shelby County penal farm

Young Dolph was fatally shot at Makeda's Cookies on Airways Boulevard a year ago on Nov. 17, 2021. Police have said two men got out of a stolen Mercedes-Benz and fired shots into Makeda’s Homemade Cookies, where Young Dolph was making a purchase. Police released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting, which they said led to the arrests.

RELATED: Authorities detail how they tracked down suspects in murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph

Johnson also faces additional charges from a non-related case. He’s accused of failing to register as a sex offender, violating the Sex Offender Registry Act.

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