April 24, 2019 / 6:58 PM

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Man Sentenced To Life Without Parole For Murder of Rapper Lil Phat, Two Others Convicted



Three men have been convicted in the shooting death of Baton Rouge rapper Lil Phat.

According to WSB, the men were sentenced in Fulton County, GA on Friday, Aug. 29, for the June 2012 shootings that occurred in an Atlanta parking lot. Billboard reports the rapper, born Melvin Vernell III, was gunned down outside a hospital where he was awaiting the birth of his child.

Deandre Washington was sentenced to life without parole plus 20 years to serve for the murder of Vernell.

The Atlanta news outlet reports Washington was charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, participating in gang activity, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

Maurice Conner was sentenced to 30 years for participation in criminal street gang activity, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gary Bradford was sentenced to 25 years for participating in criminal street gang activity and conspiracy to commit a crime.

"I termed it an assassination," said District Attorney Paul Howard in 2013.

Prosecutors claim the three men conspired to kill Vernell in retaliation for a drug robbery they believed he had orchestrated. He was reportedly sitting in an Audi A7 when he was shot repeatedly.

It was previously reported that convicted Russian mobster Mani Chulpayev used a GPS tracker to locate Phat at the hospital where he was shot. Chulpayev was later accused of ordering a contract killing, using two gunmen from Alabama.

A fourth defendant currently awaits trial.

Lil' Phat was an affiliate of fellow Baton Rouge rappers Webbie and Lil Boosie. He frequently collaborated with the rappers and was featured on Webbie's 2008 hit "Independent."

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