Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith, the two men accused of killing Young Dolph, made another court appearance on Thursday (March 24).
The murder suspects appeared in court together for the first time since they obtained lawyers. Johnson’s attorney Juni Ganguli expressed some apprehension about the possibility of Smith testifying against his client.
“When you have co-defendants there is a danger or threat that one co-defendant may testify,” he said, according to Fox 13 in Memphis. “And I am not sure how that is going to play out.”
Michael Scholl represents Smith. Both attorneys believe Young Dolph’s alleged killers will be waiting a while for the trial to begin. Ganguli worries prosecutors may pit the co-defendants against each other.
“There’s no way to protect your client if a co-defendant chooses to testify against them and the state wants to use that co-defendant as a witness,” Ganguli said, per NBC’s Memphis affiliate. “Is that going to happen? I’m not sure, but that is a very real concern.”
Johnson and Smith face multiple charges, including first-degree murder. A third man, Shundale Barnett, was arrested for accessory after the fact.
Barnett was mistakenly released from an Indiana jail, and a warrant is currently out for his arrest. Joshua Taylor and Devin Burns have also been identified as persons of interest in the case.
Young Dolph died in a fatal shooting at a Memphis bakery in November 2021. He was 36 and left behind two children.