Lawyer of Young Dolph murder suspect asks for judge to be removed from case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The lawyer of Justin Johnson, also known as Straight Drop, asked for Judge Lee Coffee to be removed from his client’s case which revolves around the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph.

The request comes after Judge Coffee ordered Johnson’s phone privileges while in jail to be taken away. He was only allowed to communicate with his attorney.

That order came after Johnson, also a Memphis rapper, released a song from jail titled “No Statements.”

“Our legal system is built on transparency. It’s built on process. It’s not built on information being vetted without the defendant being present and not having the ability to respond to it,” said Johnson’s attorney Luke Evans.

“Obviously its a paramount concern for Mr. Johnson that he receives a fair trial in front of an impartial judge,” Evans went on to say.

RELATED: Man accused in Young Dolph murder loses phone privileges after allegedly releasing rap song in jail

“You recorded a record from jail. Don’t know the contents of it. I have not listened to it. I will not listen to it,” said Judge Coffee in regard to the song Johnson released.

Judge Coffee said the release of the song also raised safety concerns in the jail.

Johnson has already requested to be moved out of 201 Poplar due to safety concerns. He is due back in court on February 2.

Also in court on Friday was Cornelius Smith, also charged with murder in the death of Young Dolph.

The pair have both been charged with first-degree murder in connection to Young Dolph’s death, along with other related charges. But, now they will also both face charges of conspiracy.

That conspiracy, authorities believe, began back in June of 2021 when a man named Hernandez Govan started the plan to murder the Memphis rapper.

RELATED: Everything we know about the man accused of ordering Young Dolph’s murder

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told FOX13 that Govan was the one who solicited the murder, leading Smith and Johnson to pull the triggers on November 17, 2021, that shattered the glass of Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on Airways Boulevard and left Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr, dead at the scene.

Smith and Johnson’s lawyers said they will enter not guilty pleas to the additional charge of conspiracy.