43-year-old Hernandez Govan was indicted by a grand jury Thursday. He was indicted for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
The indictment lists the victims as Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., and Marcus Thornton.
Just a week shy of the one-year anniversary of the rapper’s death, Govan is the third person to be indicted on murder charges.
Young Dolph was shot and killed at Makeda’s Cookies on Airways Boulevard on November 17, 2021. Two other suspects, Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith, were arrested soon after.
Johnson and Smith were also charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder earlier this year.
According to Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, they believe Govan ordered the hit on Young Dolph.
“Mr. Govan has been indicted and is in custody for being involved in the Young Dolph murder. He played the role of the person who solicited the murder,” Mulroy said.
We asked Mulroy if Govan paid the other two murder suspects.
“What we are alleging in our indictment is that he asked for the murder to take place,” he said.
The DA also told WREG that he couldn’t go into details about evidence in this case. We asked if more arrests could be expected, but that was a question Mulroy said he couldn’t comment on at this time.
In court last week, Johnson asked a judge to be transferred from the pre-trial detention facility at 201 Poplar to the Shelby County Division of Corrections at the Penal Farm in East Memphis due to security, safety concerns, and conditions of confinement, according to his attorney.
So far, a decision about the transfer has not been made.
Smith and Johnson are expected to be back in court on January 20.
Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley who fought to rename a street after Young Dolph says the news is bittersweet.
“We’re talking about someone who literally changed the lives of almost everyone he came in contact with,” he said. “That kind of impact I don’t think it’s any kind of way you can satisfy people.”
Smiley, like so many others, is hoping everyone involved is brought to justice.
“There’s nothing we can do to bring Dolph back but what we can do is deter violent crime and we also can punish those individuals involved in this matter,” he said.
Another man, Shundale Barnett, is accused of acting as an accessory after the fact in the case. Barnett was in custody in Indiana and was supposed to be extradited to Shelby County, but officials in Indiana said he was released on Jan. 21. He is wanted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.