According to prosecutors, Atlanta rapper Lil Phat was murdered for stealing 10 lbs. of marijuana in an elaborate hit set up by former gang members, a former Russian mobster, and college basketball star Decensae Xavier White, aka Griz. Lil Phat, aka Melvin Vernell III was murdered after stealing drugs from White, and another rapper named Gary Bradford known as El Dorado Red. The two hired Deandre Washington and Maurice DeWayne Connor to murder Lil Phat for a cool $10,000. The Russian mobster, Mani Chulpayev, served as an informant in the case.
Defense claims that the FBI gave Chulpayev cash, jewelry, and other goodies, and misdirected the investigation into Lil Phat’s death away from Chulpayev. The prosecution claims that Vernell leased six cars from Chulpayev, and accuses White of being the setup man in the hit.
White’s lawyer says that White is a “model citizen.” Bradford, says the prosecution, is clearly not a model citizen – he’s a gang member in the Bang Get Money mafia, out of Montgomery, Alabama. In one video, Bradford can be seen saying, “If you cross the BGM, we will kill you.” Washington is also a member of the BGM gang. White has been released on bond, but the other defendants remain in prison.