MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a court hearing Friday morning, one of the suspects charged with the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph asked to be moved from the jail at 201 Poplar, reportedly due to safety concerns.
Justin Johnson, 24, asked the judge to be moved to the penal farm instead of remaining at the jail downtown. The judge reportedly said that would be at the discretion of Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner.
ABC24 reached out to Bonner’s office. They responded, saying, "At this time, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. is considering the request from Judge Lee Coffee regarding a possible transfer of detainee Justin Johnson to another facility. The next court date for Johnson is scheduled for January 2023, thus the Sheriff’s Office will be reviewing confinement options during this time. Johnson is currently being held in special management housing at the jail where safety is a primary focus."
Johnson and Cornelius Smith, 32, were indicted in January 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.
Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was killed 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.
Johnson also faces additional charges from a non-related case. He failed to register as a sex offender, violating the Sex Offender Registry Act.
Both Johnson and Smith are due back in court Jan. 20, 2023.