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Young Dolph Murder Trial: Accused Killer Seeks Venue Change for Fair Trial

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As the trials for the men accused of killing Young Dolph in 2021 approach, one of the defense attorneys, Luke Evans, is making efforts to secure favorable conditions for his client. According to the Associated Press, Evans, representing Justin Johnson, filed a motion for a venue change this week, arguing that it is crucial for ensuring a fair trial. Evans contends that potential bias from jurors in Memphis, where Young Dolph is considered “beloved,” could impact the proceedings.

“A jury from somewhere else lacks that personal connection to the crime,” explained Evans. The motion is set to be ruled on by Judge Jennifer Mitchell later this month, on February 9. Originally scheduled for March, the trials of Johnson and co-defendant Cornelius Smith have been rescheduled to commence in June. Both individuals have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including first-degree murder.

Justin Johnson’s push for a jury lacking a “personal connection to the crime” follows a similar strategy from one of the other men charged in Young Dolph’s murder, Hernandez Govan, who is believed to be the alleged “mastermind” behind the shooting. Jermarcus Johnson, Justin Johnson’s brother, is awaiting sentencing after accepting a plea deal and pleading guilty to three counts of accessory after the fact.

The legal proceedings surrounding Young Dolph’s murder have drawn criticism from the late artist’s fiancee, Mia Jaye. In December, she expressed her dissatisfaction, questioning the accountability of those involved. “For me to see this play out as if it is some type of entertainment…We got songs being made, but how are these people getting held accountable?” she remarked.

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The request for a venue change adds another layer of complexity to a case that has garnered significant attention. Whether the judge will grant the request and how it may impact the trial’s fairness remain open questions. What are your thoughts on the accused killer’s motion for a venue change? Do you believe a trial outside of Memphis would ensure a fair proceeding? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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