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YouTube / WREG

Young Dolph's alleged killer Justin Johnson says he is indigent and cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent him in court.

Johnson and co-defendant Cornelius Smith (below left) are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Memphis rap legend Young Dolph in November.

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YouTube / WREG

In a previous court appearance, Johnson and Smith said they were "working on" hiring attorneys to represent them in court (watch video below).
 
RELATED: Young Dolph’s Suspected Killer Justin Johnson Arrested In Indiana
 
Johnson, a 23-year-old aspiring rapper, flashed large amounts of cash in rap videos and on Instagram.

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Instagram

He was back in court on Monday, February 7, to face a charge of violating a sex offender registration order. Johnson was charged with aggravated rape in 2015, according to court records.

Johnson explained to the judge that he is broke and unable to afford an attorney. General Sessions Judge Karen L. Massey appointed a public defender to represent him on the sex offender charge. However, he is still without an attorney for the murder case.

Johnson faces individual charges of first-degree murder, criminal attempted first-degree murder, unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, employ of a firearm with intent to commit a felony and theft of property $10,000-$60,000, court records show.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life (60 years) in prison if convicted. Johnson is required to serve a minimum of 85% of his prison sentence if convicted.
 

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TBI, Facebook

A man suspected of killing Memphis legend Young Dolph was dropped by an attorney for Dolph's enemies, Yo Gotti and Blac Youngsta.

Rumors were rampant that Justin Johnson (left) was being represented by Art Horne (right), longtime attorney for Yo Gotti and Blac Youngsta.

Young Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton, was gunned down in a Memphis cookie store on Nov. 17.

When Fox13 News reached out to Johnson's attorney, Horne, for comment, he said he would speak after his client turned himself in.

Johnson was arrested Wednesday by U.S. Marshals in Indiana.

On Thursday, Horne confirmed he was no longer representing Johnson.

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Authorities are investigating what, if any, connection Blac Youngsta (left) and Yo Gotti (right) had to the alleged killers.

Horne was successful in getting charges dropped against Blac Youngsta when he was arrested for shooting up Dolph's car back in 2017.

Horne released a statement via Instagram, saying:

"After reading a few recent articles, watching a half dozen blogs and skimming through the comments section I've learned a sobering fact: Misinformation spreads and sells far faster than the truth."

Johnson, an aspiring rapper named Straight Drop, allegedly killed Dolph for refusing to sign him to a recording contract.

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TBI, Getty Images

A third man has been arrested in connection with the execution-style murder of Memphis rap legend Young Dolph.

Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton, was gunned down by two masked men while buying cookies at a Memphis bakery shop on November 17. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police arrested Cornelius Smith, 32, on December 9. He was charged with theft of the getaway vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz, found abandoned behind a home that was used as the backdrop in a rap music video.

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U.S. Marshals Service

Police believe Smith (pictured) is the gunman seen wearing a Bass Pro Shops hat in surveillance video outside the cookie store.

On January, 5, Smith was extradited to Shelby County from Southaven, Mississippi. He will make his first court appearance in Memphis on Thursday, Jan. 13.

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TBI

The second gunman, aspiring rapper Justin Johnson, aka "Straight Drop," was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Indiana on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

A third suspect, Shundale Barnett, 27, was arrested along with Johnson in Indiana. Barnett (pictured below) is charged with being an accessory after-the-fact to first-degree murder for helping Johnson while he was on the run from the law.

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U.S. Marshals Service

"Shundale Barnett is a person who, we believe, was providing assistance to Justin since we've been looking for him," said U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller at a press conference in Memphis on Wednesday.

Detectives are also investigating links between the gunmen and two local rappers, Mario Mims, aka Yo Gotti, 40, and Sammie Benson, aka Blac Youngsta, 31, as potential co-conspirators in Young Dolph's death.

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TBI, Getty Images

The man suspected of killing Memphis rap legend Young Dolph (right) was captured in Indiana by the U.S. Marshals Service.

"After a coordinated investigation by the U.S. Marshals, Two Rivers Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, Justin Johnson was captured today around 3:00 p.m. (C.S.T.) in Indiana," according to a U.S. Marshals release.

Johnson was located hiding out in Indiana, days after he dropped a music video showcasing his mumble rap skills.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals announced Johnson as a person of interest and offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

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Instagram

Johnson, 23, promised to turn himself in to police on Monday, Jan. 10. Instead, he dropped a music video.

Johnson, who uses the rap name "Straight Drop," posted on his Instagram story last week:

"Turning Myself In Monday @ 201. I'm Innocent. I'll Be Back Sooner Than You Can Blink." He also had a message for bloggers: "Next time post the REAL .. BS blogs."

Another suspect, Cornelius Smith was transferred to the Shelby County Jail from the DeSoto County Jail where he had been held since his arrest on December 9.

A joint press conference with U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich will be held tomorrow.

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Instagram

Law enforcement officials in Memphis, Tennessee are still waiting for the suspected killer of Young Dolph to turn himself in.

Young Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton, was gunned down by two men inside a Tennessee bakery on November 17.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and U.S. Marshals Service named Justin Johnson as one of the killers.

Johnson, 23, promised to turn himself in to police on Monday, Jan. 10, but instead, he dropped a music video showcasing his mumble rapping skills.
 
RELATED: Young Dolph Murder Suspect Was Sentenced to 5 Years for Shooting Three People in 2017
 
The Memphis Police Department and U.S. Marshals are still on a nationwide manhunt for the aspiring rapper, who calls himself "Straight Drop." It is reported that officials viewed his music video for clues to his whereabouts.

The home where the music video was filmed is the same location where the getaway vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz was found abandoned.

According to Fox13 Memphis, an attorney representing Johnson said he was unaware of the rapper's plan to turn himself in.

Johnson posted on his Instagram story last week:

"Turning Myself In Monday @ 201. I'm Innocent. I'll Be Back Sooner Than You Can Blink." He also had a message for bloggers: "Next time post the REAL .. BS blogs."

Johnson is wanted on charges of First-Degree murder, Criminal Attempt-First Degree Murder, and Theft of Property valued between $10,000-$60,000.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Crime Stoppers have offered a reward of $15,000 for tips leading to Johnson's capture.

Watch the music video below.

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Memphis PD, Getty Images

The man accused of killing Memphis rap legend Young Dolph received a 5-year sentence for shooting 3 people in 2017.

Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton (below right), was gunned down by two men inside a Memphis cookie shop on Nov. 17.

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Instagram

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service identified 23-year-old Justin Johnson (pictured with Dolph) as one of the killers on Wednesday. A $15,000 reward is being offered for his capture.
 
RELATED: Police Identify Suspect in Young Dolph Murder Case
 
Johnson was out on the streets because the liberal judge who sentenced him in 2017 felt sorry for him.

Shelby County Judge Christopher Craft said he remembered the then-teenager when a reporter reached out to him for comment.

"The first time he used a gun, we gave him some slack because of him immediately cooperating and doing everything," said Judge Craft.

The first time Johnson used a gun, he attempted to murder three people after a fight at a bowling alley.

According to court records, Johnson immediately pleaded guilty to the shooting spree at the Billy Hardwick Bowling Alley, ABC 24 reported.

"He had no record. He got in a fight with some people at a bowling alley, and they were all mad at each other. He went out to his car and got a gun and came back in and started shooting. He fired a bunch of shots and a man was hit in the arm and a lady was hit in the leg and another person was grazed," said Craft.

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Instagram

Though there were signs that Johnson was a hardened criminal, Judge Craft was "impressed" with the lad.

"He immediately admitted to his charges and said 'you don't need to indict me. I'll agree to my charges'," said Craft. "Because he had no record, he was a range one offender, which is 3 to 6 years. Because there were three victims, he pleaded guilty was sentenced to five years in prison."

Craft spared the youthful offender by not giving him the maximum 6 years for attempting to kill 3 people. Judge Craft followed Johnson's progress in jail. He observed that the teenager had "an exemplary record and no write-ups" behind bars.

He said Johnson "went above and beyond what he was expected to do" and he released Johnson after serving just six months of his 5-year sentence.

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Instagram

A few months later, Johnson was arrested again on drugs and gun possession charges, which meant he violated his probation and faced a federal charge.

"We were very disappointed with that because he was such an impressive young man," said Craft.

"What we did was we ran our five-year sentence concurrent with his federal, and he went off to federal prison," said Craft. "He went off to prison, and the next I heard of him was when he was on the news as a suspect."

Johnson was released from prison in less than 5 years.

Critics are outraged over Johnson's lenient sentence and the liberal judge who put a lawless criminal back on the streets.

"A lot of times the toughest thing I have to decide is should I give this man another chance or should he go off to prison," said Craft. "When we make decisions about whether or not to give another chance, there are going to be a few people we give another chance and they fail. But there are going to be thousands of people we give another chance to and it changes their life, and they never come back."

Memphis officials honored Dolph's legacy by renaming a street after him in Castalia Heights last month.

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Instagram

Justin Johnson, the 23-year-old suspect in Young Dolph's murder, is an aspiring rapper seen partying with Dolph in photos.

According to DJ Vlad, the photo "reveals a possible deeper connection that could answer more questions about the circumstances surrounding Dolph's tragic and untimely demise."
 
RELATED: Police Identify Suspect in Young Dolph Murder Case
 

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Instagram

Johnson is an aspiring Memphis rapper who called himself "Straight Droppp." His Instagram page @straightdroppp features photos of him flaunting cash, expensive cars, and designer clothing.

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Instagram

Instagram users suggested the money and cars were payoff for the hit on the famous rapper.

Vlad wrote:

"To add insult to injury, Johnson is seen wearing a Paper Route Entertainment charm on his belt in a picture taken just before Dolph's murder. Many are suggesting he got the charm after a previous run-in with Dolph and his crew before the shooting."

Instagram sleuths identified Johnson as one of Dolph's killers in the days after the murder.

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TBI

Law enforcement officials in Tennessee have identified a suspect in the shooting death of rapper Young Dolph.

Young Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton, was gunned down inside a Tennessee cookie shop on November 17.
 
RELATED: The moment 2 gunmen took aim at rapper Young Dolph
 
Dolph, a native of Memphis, was targeted by two gunmen who hopped out of a white Mercedes Benz and opened fire.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Young Dolph, 36, was known for his charitable work in Memphis. He was in town to participate in his annual turkey giveaway for Thanksgiving.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service identified 23-year-old Justin Johnson as a suspect in the case.

A $15,000 reward is being offered for tips leading to Johnson's capture.

Johnson is described as a Black male, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 190 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has the name "Jaiya," tattooed on his right arm.

The TBI tweeted on Tuesday night:

"We need your help to find Justin Johnson, wanted by @MEM_PoliceDept and TBI for 1st Degree Murder, Criminal Attempt-1st Degree Murder, & Theft of Property $10,000-$60,000.

He should be considered armed & dangerous.

Seen him? Call 901-378-3132 or 1-800-TBI-FIND."

In a separate tweet, the TBI wrote:

"A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by TBI for information leading to Justin Johnson’s arrest for a total reward of up to $15,000 in coordination with @USMarshalsHQ, @MEM_PoliceDept, and Crimestoppers."

Prince Williams/Wireimage

The city of Memphis is honoring fallen rapper Young Dolph by naming a street after him in his hometown.

According to TMZ, the City of Memphis just announced plans to change a street name to honor the rapper who was shot and killed in a Memphis cookie store on Nov. 17.

The unveiling of the new street sign is set for Dec. 15 at an intersection near the Memphis Depot Industrial Park.

The new name was proposed by city councilman JB Smiley who waited until getting the green light from the family.

The family said the new street name is a reminder to residents in the Castalia Heights community of someone who worked hard and persevered.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

"He sent the message that someone who went to the same schools as them, and walked the same streets that they do, was able to not only create a successful legacy for himself, but also prioritized family and community."

Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton Jr., was laid to rest during a private funeral in Memphis on Tuesday, Nov. 30. He was buried in a 24K gold casket. The services were handled by N.J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home.

R&B singer Monica was among the celebs attending the homegoing services.

The Makeda Homemade Butter Cookies shop on Airway Boulevard where Dolph was slain by unknown gunmen is still boarded up and has become a shrine to Dolph.

The downtown Makeda's Cookies location has reopened.
 

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Twitter

Surveillance footage caught the moment 2 masked gunmen took aim at beloved Memphis rapper Young Dolph as he stood inside a cookie shop on Wednesday.

Witnesses say the gunmen drove up in a vehicle, jumped out and opened fire on Dolph while he was inside Makeda's Butter Cookies in South Memphis.

Dolph was shot twice and pronounced dead at the scene. The gunmen are still at large.

The images, which appear to be taken from surveillance footage, circulated on Twitter.com on Wednesday. The photos show two gunmen outside Makeda's Butter Cookies store -- one holding an assault rifle and the other wielding a pistol.

The images were validated by three independent law enforcement sources who spoke to local news outlet FOX 13 on Thursday.

Dolph was in his hometown on Wednesday to hand out turkeys -- an annual Thanksgiving tradition.

The rapper was a frequent visitor to the cookie store whenever he was in town. The owner of Makeda's Butter Cookies, Maurice Hill, said Dolph arrived at the store around 1 p.m. to buy his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

The shop posted video of a recent visit by Dolph on its Instagram page.
 

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Memphis rapper Young Dolph was killed inside a cookie shop by an unknown gunman, law enforcement officials confirmed. He was 36.

The shooting occurred at Makeda's Butter Cookies on Airways Boulevard, according to WHBQ. He was a frequent visitor to the shop to buy cookies.

The assailant ran into the shop and shot Dolph twice. The rapper, born Adolph Thornton, Jr., reportedly returned fire before expiring.

Last month, Dolph performed at ONE Musicfest at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia (above).

Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

Dolph, pictured in Atlanta in 2018, was best known for his debut studio album, King of Memphis, which peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart.

His second album, Rich Slave was released in 2020 and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Crowds gathered at the crime scene and filmed the aftermath with their cell phones.

"Bruh they done killed Young Dolph bro what the f***... bro ain't no way these folks done just killed Dolph," a bystander said. "Ain't no way these folks just straight came and ran down on Dolph."

The rapper was previously shot outside a retail store in Hollywood, Los Angeles on September 26, 2017. He survived three gunshot wounds.

Tameka Harris, Trouble at Gold Room

Reality TV star Tameka "Tiny" Harris attended rapper Trouble's Welcome Home party at the Gold Room in Atlanta on Saturday. Trouble (right) recently teamed up with Drake on the track "Bring It Back". Fetty Wap, Young Dolph, B.O.B., 2 Chainz and more attended the Welcome Home Party. NBA stars John Wall and Josh Smith were also in the house. The event was sponsored by AG Entertainment.

25 more pics in the gallery.

Photos by Prince Williams/ATLPics.net