A 25-year-old man was convicted Friday of killing 19-year-old Melvin Vernell III, an emerging local rapper known as “Lil Phat,” in June 2012. Two other men were also found guilty for their roles in the case. Deandre Washington was convicted of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit a crime, participation in criminal street gang activity and weapons offenses in a Fulton County court after an almost month-long trial. Following the verdict, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 20 years, according to a news release from the office of Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard. Two other men were found guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime and gang activity. Gary Bradford, 35, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Maurice Conner, 29, who was also found guilty of weapons offenses, was sentenced to 30 years. (ConstitutionJournal)
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