Suspect in Young Dolph’s Murder Case Mistakenly Released

An arrest warrant is out for a suspect connected to the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph after a major miscommunication between sheriff’s offices in Indiana and Tennessee. 27-year-old Shundale Barnett, charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, was mistakenly released from custody on January 21st instead of being extradited to Memphis.

As reported by CBS affiliate WREG-TV, Indiana police are placing the blame on their Memphis counterparts. “He was booked in the Clay County Jail on an outstanding warrant from Shelby County, Tennessee,” said Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden. “We held them (Barnett), contacted Shelby County, and held him on their warrant and we were contacted on January 21st and they told us that they were no longer wanting to come up and pick up Mr. Barnett and that we were to release him at that time.”

Harden says they have “no idea” where Barnett is. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office had no further light to shed on the situation. “On January 11th, 2022, the US Marshals Service issued a warrant for Shundale Barnett for Accessory After the Fact,” a rep said in a statement issued to Rolling Stone. “Due to an ongoing investigation and prosecution, we cannot comment further.

Barnett was arrested as a passenger in the car of Dolph’s suspected killers, 23-year-old Justin Johnson and 32-year-old Cornelius Smith, when they were pulled over on January 11th at a truck stop in Brazil, Indiana. In a press conference held following the arrest, US Marshal Tyreece Miller revealed that investigators believed Barnett had been providing assistance to Johnson.

On January 12th, Johnson and Smith were both booked on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, employment of a firearm, and theft of property over $10,000. Both men pled not guilty. The next hearing in their case is set for March 24th.

While the search for Barnett continues, two additional people have been identified as persons of interest in the case: 26-year-old Joshua Taylor and 26-year-old Devin Burns. NBC affiliate Action News 5 reports that the latter was taken into police custody on Tuesday (February 22nd).

Young Dolph, a revered member of the Memphis community, was shot and killed on November 17th at the local bakery Makeda’s Butter Cookies.


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