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It Sure Seems Like the Cops Lost a Suspect in Young Dolph’s Murder Case

A man allegedly connected to the murder of Young Dolph is missing after he was released from an Indiana jail at the end of January. 

Shundale Barnett was arrested alongside one of the two primary murder suspects, Justin Johnson, in Brazil, Indiana, back in January. Barnett, 27, was charged as an after-the-fact accessory to Dolph’s murder, with authorities accusing him of helping Johnson and the other suspect, Cornelius Smith, flee Memphis.

Barnett was then held in Clay County, Indiana, and was supposed to be extradited back to Memphis, but as News 3 out of Memphis reports, Barnett was actually released from custody on Jan. 21. His whereabouts are now unknown and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has issued another warrant for his arrest on the original accessory-after-the-fact charge, as well as new attempted first-degree murder and theft of property charges. 

As for how Barnett ended up being released, Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden told News 3 that Barnett was allegedly let go at the request of his counterparts in Shelby County. “We held [Barnett], contacted Shelby County, and held him on their warrant,” Harden said. “And we were contacted on Jan. 21, 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.”

As to why Barnett was released — that still remains a mystery. When asked for comment, a rep for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said only, “On January 11, 2022, the U.S. Marshals Service issued a warrant for Shundale Barnett for Accessory After the Fact. Due to an ongoing investigation and prosecution, we cannot comment further.”

Reps for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals did not immediately return requests for comment.

While Barnett’s whereabouts are unknown, both Johnson and Smith remain in custody after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder earlier this month. The next hearing in their case has been set for March 24.


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