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

MEMPHIS, Tenn., — A third man faces murder charges in connection to the high-profile murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph.

Hernandez Govan, 43, has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told FOX13 that Govan is the one who solicited the murder, leading Justin Johnson, a rapper known by the name of Straight Dropp, and Cornelius Smith to shoot the Memphis rapper in broad daylight at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on November 17, 2021.

Mulroy said that it was Govan who asked for the murder to take place.

The gunmen who shot Young Dolph to death pulled up outside Makeda’s in a white Mercedes and opened fire through the window of the store before jumping back in the car and taking off, police said.

A week after the rapper’s death, Memphis Police said they found that white Mercedes in the 1100 block of Bradley Avenue.

According to court documents, Govan’s last known address is also in the 1100 block of Bradley Avenue.

PHOTOS: Fans honor Memphis rapper Young Dolph

Those same documents reveal a lengthy criminal background for Govan, dating back to the early 1990s.

In January of 1990, and again in May of 2000, Govan was charged with possessing a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell - a Class E felony. Govan was sentenced to two years behind bars for that arrest in 2000.

In August of 2003 Govan was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Records show that he pled not guilty to those charges and FOX13 is working to learn if he was found guilty and sentenced for this charge or not.

But, just a month later in November of 2003, Govan did plead guilty to being in possession of a controlled substance.

Five years later, in April of 2008, Govan pled guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to court documents.

Most recently, Govan pled guilty to aggravated assault in May of 2021, accused of beating up his former romantic partner.

Young Dolph died at the scene of that shooting on November 17, the same day Govan is charged with committing first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

But his third charge, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, dates back to June 2021, meaning that authorities believe Govan started planning Young Dolph’s murder months before the beloved rapper was shot to death.

Just two months before Govan’s indictment, in September, Govan’s daughter 25-year-old Destinee Govan was shot to death in Houston, Texas.

Destinee Govan was also a rapper who went by the stage name Lotta Cash Desoto and was signed by Lil Uzi Vert.

Houston Police said she was shot to death on the morning of September 24. Destinee Govan and a friend were in a car, stopped behind another vehicle at a traffic light, when two men got out of that vehicle and began shooting, according to Houston Police.

Police charged Christian Williams with her murder. About a month after her death, Hernandez Govan posted to Facebook saying, “I think I cursed U Destinee with my lifestyle. I apologize baby.”


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The indictment charging Govan in Young Dolph’s death came a week before the anniversary of his murder.

Another man, Shundale Barnett, has been charged with accessory after the fact, accused of helping Justin Johnson following Young Dolph’s murder. Barnett was arrested in Indiana and released. A warrant for first-degree murder has since been issued for Barnett, though he has not been arrested for that warrant at this time and it is unclear if that murder charge is connected to the Young Dolph case.

Sources tell FOX13 that more arrests could still be on the horizon in connection to Young Dolph’s murder.

So far, Govan, Johnson and Smith have all been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Johnson and Smith have also been charged with the employment of a weapon during a dangerous felony, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000.