2 New People Of Interest Named In Murder Of Young Dolph, 1 Suspect Released

Memphis Police are seeking two men who they say are people of interest in the shooting death of hip-hop artist Young Dolph, who was murdered on Nov. 17, 2021. One suspect in the case was mistakenly released.

Young Dolph, 36, was born Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. in Chicago and was raised in Memphis. He was a husband and father who was well known and loved in his community, where he was a philanthropist.

He was shot and killed outside Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in South Memphis, a local business Young Dolph supported, according to reports. The shop’s owner, Maurice Hill, said Young Dolph walked into the store to buy cookies and someone drove up, shot and killed him. Dolph’s Lamborghini could be seen parked at the scene.

Authorities say Devin Burns, 26, and Joshua Taylor, 26, are wanted in connection with the case, WREG reported

Burns has a criminal record that includes attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm, and aggravated robbery. There are unrelated warrants for his arrest concerning a previous assault and theft of property charges. 

Shundale Barnett was arrested in Indiana on Jan. 11 in but was mistakenly released by authorities on Jan. 21, according to news reports. He was supposed to be extradited to Memphis. His whereabouts are unknown.

Barnett was charged with being an accessory to a role in helping another suspect, Justin Johnson, flee Memphis to Indiana and criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder.

Johnson, 23, who is also known as the rapper “Straight Drop,” was nabbed with Barnett and charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, employment of a firearm, and theft of property over $10,000.

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Cornelius Smith, 32, has also been charged with the same crimes.

Johnson and Barnett pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of Young Dolph.

On Feb. 22, Burns was booked in the Shelby County Jail on several counts of aggravated assault and a count of theft of property that stems from 2021 after police say he stole a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee on June 5. Burns is considered a person of interest in Young Dolph’s death, although police have yet to explain Burns’ connection to the others already arrested, Action News 5 reported.    

Photo: Young Dolph poses for a portrait during the Empire Records DJ party at Skydeck, Miami Beach, on Oct. 5, 2018. mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX

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