NPR has reported that Cornelius Smith, 32 has been indicted on first-degree murder charges pertaining to the shooting that took the life of Memphis rapper Young Dolph in November. Smith was already being held in custody by Memphis authorities after being arrested last month on an auto-theft warrant concerning the vehicle believed to have been used in the shootings. Smith was additionally indicted for unlawful weapons possession, illegal use of a firearm, and property theft in connection with the slaying. According to The Daily Beast, the car, a white Mercedes-Benz, was stolen a week before the shootings. It was recovered by police three days afterward.
In a separate incident, U.S. Marshals arrested additional suspect Justin Johnson, 23 somewhere in Indiana. According to ABC’s Memphis’ affiliate, Johnson, who raps under the name Straight Dropp, had said in an Instagram post made earlier this month that he intended to turn himself into Memphis police on Monday but failed to do so. According to The Daily Beast, Johnson released a new song “Track Hawk” on January 10, the very day he had promised to surrender himself.
Authorities in Shelby County, where both men are charged, have yet to comment on either the arrest or indictment of either man.
Young Dolph, born Adolphus Thornton Jr. was gunned down at a local Memphis bakery while on his way to a charity food giveaway shortly before Thanksgiving of last year. Surveillance camera footage showed two individuals carrying a pistol and some sort of rifle, both hooded and masked, leaving the scene in a white Mercedes. Days later, video of a white Mercedes being towed by Memphis Police began to appear on social media, but authorities have yet to confirm or deny whether the vehicle was the one involved in the shootings or Smith’s arrest.
Shelby County Authorities have not yet commented on either the arrest or indictment.
Young Dolph was known for his hits, “Cut It”, “Get Paid’, and “On the River”. The rapper was known for his local philanthropy and was much loved in the city of Memphis. Thornton had given away two hundred turkey dinners at the Memphis West Cancer Center only days before his death. The city will honor the late musician with a street named after him.