Young Dolph murder suspect appears in court for unrelated charge
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A suspect charged in the murder of rapper Young Dolph faced a judge Friday in a separate case.
Justin Johnson, 23, is back in Memphis and behind bars at 201 Poplar. He was extradited from Indiana.
Johnson was in court for one charge of failure of a Tennessee sexual offender to report or register.
In 2015, Johnson was convicted of aggravated rape and is required to report every March, June, September, and December to Memphis police. He failed to do so in December 2021 and is in violation of the Sex Offender Tracking and Verification Act of 2004.
Friday’s hearing was relatively short.
The judge told Johnson to find an attorney before coming back to court next week.
“The case in court today is relatively minor compared to what he’s dealing with, and it just has to do with him not following the rules while being a sex offender,” said criminal defense attorney Blake Ballin.
Ballin said the charges Johnson is facing related to Young Dolph’s murder add another layer of complexity because he is in two court systems -- both federal and state.
“The next step will be to see if Johnson has hired a lawyer, and then discovery will be given and evidence will be turned over to his lawyer for review,” explained Ballin.
Johnson was indicted on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, criminal attempt first-degree murder, and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.
However, Ballin said it could be a while before charges related to Young Dolph’s murder go to trial.
Blake Ballin - Criminal Defense Attorney
“You’re going to have people sitting in jail two to three years, waiting to have trials and high profile or not, if you’ve just gotten arrested, you’re in the back of the line.”
Johnson is due back in court on January 18.
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