Home News Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

A man charged with arranging the murder of Young Dolph pleaded not guilty Thursday, one year after the rapper and producer was shot to death while buying cookies at a bakery in his hometown of Memphis.

Hernandez Govan, 43, appeared briefly in Shelby County Criminal Court in Memphis. He is accused of arranging the young rapper’s shooting.

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

He was arrested last week after being charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of the rapper, who was 36 at the time.

The judge set Govan’s next hearing for December 16.

Govan is the third person charged in the November 17, 2021, slaying of Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr.

The shooting in broad daylight stunned Memphis and shocked the entertainment world.

Police said two men exited a white Mercedes-Benz and fired shots into Makeda’s Homemade Cookies, which is near the rapper’s boyhood home in the Castalia neighborhood.

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

His work as a rapper, producer and owner of the independent label ‘Paper Route Empire’ took him away from Memphis, but the father of two had returned to the city days before his killing to visit a sick relative and organize a turkey giveaway that took place without him.

Police released images from surveillance video that captured the shooting, and authorities later discovered the abandoned car.

Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith Jr., two men, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the shooting. They are being held without bond in jail and are due to appear in court on January 20.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy stated in a weekly newsletter that Govan “solicited the murder and set it in motion.”

However, no evidence has been made public to back up that claim, and no suspected motive has been revealed. The investigation is still going on.

‘I know that you all are wanting details, you’re wanting facts, you’re wanting sort of answers to some of these mysteries and things like that,’ prosecutor Paul Hagerman told reporters after Thursday’s hearing.

‘Even if we knew them, we couldn’t tell you. As a matter of ethics and our requirements under the law, we’ve got to confine ourselves to what’s made public.’

Govan’s lawyer, Bill Massey, said he was seeking the prosecution’s evidence in the case, which Massey said may not go to trial until after next year due to the amount of evidence and the number of defendants.

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty
Young Dolph performs at The Parking Lot Concert in Atlanta on August 23, 2020.

Known for his depictions of tough street life and his independent approach to the music business, Young Dolph was admired for charitable works in Memphis.

He organized Thanksgiving turkey giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, and paid rent and funeral expenses for people in his childhood neighborhood of Castalia Heights.

Following Young Dolph’s death, a section of a street near his childhood home was renamed in his honor.

Hernandez Govan: Man accused of murdering rapper Young Dolph pleads not guilty

He was honored during a public celebration at FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzles of the NBA and the University of Memphis men’s basketball team, after a private funeral.

The killing was also cited by city officials and community activists as a symbol of Memphis’s scourge of gun violence.

Since the rapper’s death, Memphis has seen several other high-profile killings this year, including the shooting of a United Methodist Church pastor during a carjacking in her driveway; the kidnapping and shooting of an elementary school teacher who police said was abducted during an early morning run; and a man’s daylong shooting rampage that was partially livestreamed and led to the death of three people.

source:summarybio.com