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.