Young Dolph‘s murder trial has been pushed back again.
Young Dolph’s Murder Trial Pushed Back
According to a Fox13 Memphis report, published on Friday (Feb. 2), Young Dolph’s murder trial has been pushed back. Initially slated to begin on March 11, the trial has been rescheduled for June 3.
Justin Johnson, who also goes by the rap name Straight Drop, is facing a slew of charges including first-degree murder for his alleged involvement in Young Dolph’s murder. The late Memphis legend was shot and killed inside Memphis bakery Makeda’s Homemade Cookies on Nov. 17, 2021.
Justin Johnson’s Attorney Wants Change of Venue for the Trial
During Friday’s hearing, Johnson’s defense attorney Luke Evans argued for a change of venue. Evans explained that the extensive media coverage, including social media, have made it unsafe for Johnson and therefore the trial should either be relocated outside of Shelby County or a jury pool be brought in from another county to ensure an impartial proceeding.
“There are reactions in the media to this case that say things such as ‘get a rope,’ and a call for his [Johnson’s] lynching,” Evans said during the hearing, according to WREG News Channel 3.
Judge Jennifer Mitchell asked Evans what would keep jurors in other jurisdictions from having access to the same media and social media outlets.
“I think the further away we go, the less likely those social media outlets, these stories, are going to be coming up,” Evans replied.
Outside of the courtroom, Evans told WREG that his request for a change of venue stems from the high level of reverence the community continues to hold for Young Dolph.
“Someone that is so beloved in this community, it really puts potential jurors in an unfair position,” he said.
However, Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman argued that the trial should take place in Shelby County, where the murder occurred. He maintained that the jury should be composed of members of that community. Hagerman believes the defense is trying to dismiss the people of Shelby County.
“Shelby County is the most diverse county in all of Tennessee,” Hagerman argued. “We have tried other high-profile cases here.”
Judge Mitchell made no immediate decision and ordered Johnson and his attorney to return to court on Feb. 9.
See a local news report on Young Dolph’s murder trial being pushed back and the suspect’s attorney seeking a change of venue below.