MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man wanted in the fatal shooting of Memphis rapper Young Dolph was captured in Indiana Tuesday.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Justin Johnson, 23, was arrested after a murder warrant was issued for him earlier this month.
FOX13 examined Johnson’s past criminal record and discovered Young Dolph’s murder was not his first brush with the law.
Johnson, who goes by the stage name Straight Drop, has a rap sheet that starts at age 17.
In 2015, Johnson was charged with aggravated rape and robbery.
“The victim, in that case, was a woman at an Econo Lodge,” District Attorney Amy Weirich said during a joint press conference with U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller and Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis.
Johnson was added to the registry of violent sex offenders due to the charge. He was also then put into the Department of Children’s Services and remained under that agency until age 19.
In 2017 Johnson was accused of shooting three people at Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, but only served 9 months.
Months later, in May of 2018 Johnson was arrested with a handgun and illegal drugs. He bonded out the very next day for $7,500.
Johnson was later indicted in 2018 by the federal government for gun charges.
He went back to prison until his release last May, just six months before investigators say he gunned down Young Dolph.
When asked why Johnson was out of jail, D.A. Amy Weirich said the answer is simple. “Because of the law, of the laws,” she said. “Because of the laws of the state of Tennessee.”
FOX13 spoke with the judge who signed off on letting Johnson out of prison months into a five-year sentence.
“It’s called the Department of Corrections not the Department of Punishment,” said Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft.
“He appeared to be a very impressive young man without a record, and he always admitted to everything he did,” said Craft.
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