No Memphis Jurors Will Be Used

Two men accused of killing Young Dolph will soon face a trial of jurors from a county outside of Memphis. According to the Associated Press, a judge ruled on the matter on Friday (Feb. 9).

Local prosecutors have charged at least four men in connection to Young Dolph’s murder. But Justin Johnson’s lawyer argued to bring in jurors from outside of Shelby County in a Feb. 2 hearing.

Johnson pled not guilty to first-degree murder, and so did a second suspect, Cornelius Smith. Both men are being tried together starting Jun. 3.

As previously reported, Young Dolph was gunned down in broad daylight outside of his favorite hometown cookie shop. He was 36 when he died on the scene on Nov. 17, 2021. At the time, he was reportedly in town to visit a sick relative and for his annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway.

Why Judge Banned Memphis Jurors In The Murder Trial

Justin’s lawyer, Luke Evans, argued that Memphis jurors would be biased given the “public visceral outrage” over Young Dolph’s death. He alleged some of the public has called for Justin to be lynched or killed behind bars. Evans asked the court not to “play chicken” with Justin’s right to a fair trial.

RELATED: How Fans Are Honoring Young Dolph On The 1-Year Anniversary Of His Passing

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman initially recommended that the court issue questionnaires to a jury pool of 150 to 200 people in Shelby County. But Evans appeared to shut down the suggestion, saying it would further delay the trial after being pushed back from Mar. 11.

Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell agreed with the arguments of bias. Evans was reportedly pleased. The county of origin for the jurors will be decided at a later date.

“This court is wary that jurors from Shelby County will not be able to lay aside their opinions or impressions and render a verdict based upon the evidence presented,” Mitchell said while announcing her ruling.

Other Men Connected To Dolph’s Murder

Jermarcus Johnson was initially facing a charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. An indictment claims Jemarcus helped Justin communicate with Cornelius. However, his lawyer previously argued that he was an unwilling participant and got dragged into it after Young Dolph was killed.

“Sometimes it’s one of those lessons of, you have to be careful who you know and who you associate with,” Corman said. “In this case, it was a half-brother of his who showed up to his apartment one day and had a phone and a car,” Jermarcus’ lawyer said.

Jermarcus told prosecutor Paul during previous questioning that he took possession of a car at Justin’s request. However, that car was not the one used in the drive-by shooting. Jermarcus Johnson also identified a photo in which Justin Johnson was wearing the same clothing as one of the two shooters accused of gunning down Young Dolph the day the rapper was killed, per AP.

Last June, Jermarcus Johnson pleaded guilty in June to three counts of serving as an accessory after the killing by helping Cornelius and Justin Johnson, his half-brother. Jermarcus Johnson acknowledged helping the two shooting suspects communicate by cellphone while they were on the run from authorities and helping one of them communicate with his probation officer. He faces between 6 and 12 years in prison.

Hernandez Govan has pleaded not guilty to organizing the killing. A trial date has not been set for him. He was granted a $90,000 bond last June and placed on house arrest for safety and health concerns.

Associated Press reporter Adrian Sainz contributed to this report.

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