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Update: Third suspect charged in rapper Young Dolph’s murder

A third man is now facing charges in connection with the shocking murder of rapper Young Dolph eight weeks ago, officials revealed on Wednesday January 12.

Shundale Barnett, 27, has been charged with being an after-the-fact accessory to the deadly daylight ambush that ended the revered rapper’s life on Nov. 17, U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller said at a press conference. 

According to Miller, Barnett was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over at a truck stop just outside Terre Haute, Indiana, Tuesday afternoon amid a national manhunt for Justin Johnson, 23, the Memphis man identified last week as the subject of a first-degree murder warrant in the Young Dolph case. Johnson was behind the wheel and taken into custody without a fight, Miller said.

“Shundale Barnett is a person who, we believe, was providing assistance to Justin since we’ve been looking for him,” Miller said, adding that Barnett was being held on a state warrant in Indiana pending extradition to Shelby County, Tennessee.

Young Dolph, 36, was gunned down at the bakery near Memphis International Airport after doing charity work in his hometown that included giving away Thanksgiving turkeys.

Johnson was pursuing his own rap career under the name Straight Drop, prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday.

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 09: Rapper Young Dolph attends 2021 ONE Musicfest at Centennial Olympic Park on October 09, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Asked Wednesday if police had a theory about the motive behind Young Dolph’s murder, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said investigators were still sorting through “a wealth of tips” as well as “lots of rumors and innuendo.”

“We’re really trying to sift through to the truth of what the real motives are. We’re just not ready to put that out there right now,” she said.

According to Miller, more than 500 tips started flooding in after authorities offered a $15,000 reward for Johnson’s capture last week. It was one such tip Tuesday that led U.S. Marshals to his location on Highway 42 in Indiana, Miller said.

News of Johnson’s arrest surfaced just as prosecutors in Shelby County publicly identified Cornelius Smith, 32, as the second alleged gunman sought in the murder case.

Johnson and Smith were indicted Tuesday on charges they murdered Young Dolph with premeditation and also attempted to kill the rapper’s brother, Marcus Thornton, during the bakery attack, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by Fox13 Memphis.

The grand jury further indicted Johnson and Smith on counts of being convicted felons in possession of firearms, use of firearms in a dangerous felony, and theft of the 2014 white Mercedes-Benz used as the getaway car.

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