Prosecutors: 5 people conspired to murder rapper - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Prosecutors: 5 people conspired to murder rapper

Melvin Vernell III - known as Lil Phat - was killed in June 2012. Melvin Vernell III - known as Lil Phat - was killed in June 2012.

By KATE BRUMBACK
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - The life of an Atlanta rapper was cut short when he was shot dead in a car outside a hospital where his fiancee was due to give birth.

Melvin Vernell III - known as Lil Phat - was killed in June 2012. Prosecutors say it was an elaborate murder-for-hire plot involving gang members, a former Russian mobster and a basketball star.

Prosecutors say Vernell stole 10 pounds of marijuana from two drug dealers. Prosecutors say those two hired another pair of men from Alabama to kill Vernell for $10,000. Prosecutors say the hired guns were able to find Vernell at a hospital on the outskirts of Atlanta using GPS coordinates provided by the former Russian mobster.

Defense attorneys in the case say the charges against their clients have no merit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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