A Tennessee man admitted Friday that he had assisted two other men in the midday attack at a Memphis bakery where they were accused of killing rapper Young Dolph.
The 26-year-old Jermarcus Johnson pleaded guilty to three accessory charges after the fact. He can avoid going to court because Judge Lee Coffee approved a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Johnson admitted to facilitating communication between the two suspects while they were evading capture after the murder and facilitating communication between one of them and his probation officer.
Johnson admitted transferring ownership of the car from the shooting defendant, Justin Johnson, during interrogation by prosecutor Paul Hagerman.
Jermarcus Johnson also pointed to a picture in which Justin Johnson was seen dressed similarly to one of the two suspects in the shooting death of Young Dolph. Hagerman asserted that Johnson was not involved in Young Dolph’s actual murder.
The below tweet verifies the news:
Man pleads guilty to helping 2 others accused in the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph https://t.co/dSdg7OvkPK
— WJTV 12 News (@WJTV) June 9, 2023
In a conspiracy indictment coming from the murder of Young Dolph, whose actual name was Adolph Thornton Jr., Johnson was one of four individuals accused.
Johnson is the first to enter a guilty plea or be found guilty about the shooting that devastated Memphis and the entertainment industry.
According to the investigators, the rapper, label owner, and producer, 36, was killed by two guys while buying cookies at a bakery close to his childhood home in Memphis.
For assisting Justin Johnson in hiding out and fleeing later, Johnson was first charged with the more severe offense of conspiracy to conduct first-degree murder, according to the indictment.
In addition to providing payments to Cornelius Smith for the murder, Jermarcus Johnson assisted Justin Johnson in communicating with the other suspect, according to the indictment.
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Smith and Justin Johnson have entered a not-guilty plea to several charges, including first-degree murder. Hernandez Govan, the fourth individual in the indictment, has also entered a not-guilty plea for first-degree murder. Govan is charged with planning the murder.
No explanation for the murder has been given.
In Memphis, Young Dolph was well-known for his humanitarian efforts, success as a self-employed musician, and business success. Young Dolph was killed while visiting a sick relative in the city and distributing Thanksgiving turkeys at a church.
Following his passing, Memphis renamed a street in his honor, and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies paid tribute to him during a game. Around the city, the rapper has had murals painted, and early this year, a pop-up museum celebrating him opened.
The bakery, Makeda’s Homemade Cookies, was transformed into a makeshift tribute for the deceased musician. After the shooting, it was shut down for several months, but it is again open.
Smith and Justin Johnson are being detained in jail. Govan is under home arrest and was given a $90,000 bond due to safety and health concerns.
According to Coffee, Jermarcus Johnson might be called as a witness in a subsequent trial for the killing of Young Dolph.
On August 10, Johnson will receive a sentence that could land him in jail for six to twelve years.
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