Lil Phat

Trill Fam rapper allegedly killed to cover Russian car scam

Melvin Burrell III, better known as Trill Fam recording artist, Lil Phat, was shot and killed in Atlanta on June 7, 2012. Anticipating his child’s birth, the slain rapper was visiting Atlanta’s Northside Hospital. While inside the parking structure, on a parking ramp, seated within a parked Audi A7, Burrell was shot by two assailants. Witnesses affirm two men ran from the scene. Burrell would succumb to his fatal injuries.

Atlanta police have apprehended three of the four assailants wanted in relation to Lil Phat’s murder. Mani Chulpayev, a former Russian mobster, is one of the accused who allegedly ordered the hit on the rapper. Back in January, ABC affiliate WSB-TV, exposed Chulpayev’s involvement while conducting an investigation involving his car business. Essential information discovered through that special report led police to reopen Lil Phat’s murder case.

Speaking to WSB-TV, District Attorney, Paul Howard asserts, “I termed it an assassination!”

Chulpayev was located by the use of a GPS tracking system. The District Attorney argues that Lil Phat purchased his Audi from the Russian mobster. Howard’s office stands firms accusing the mobster of ordering the contract killing. Chulpayev paid and was aided by gunmen from Alabama. Howard contends, “He was stalked by these two men; it was planned.”

Last April, Lil Phat was stopped for a traffic violation. Subsequently, he learned his leased BMW was stolen. He was charged with receiving a stolen car. Just days before being killed, Lil Phat, alerted police the BMW he leased from Chulpayev was stolen. Howard claims Lil Phat was killed to prevent law enforcement from discovering Chulpayev’s bogus business dealings.

A SWAT team arrested Chulpayev in Florida on April 12. Last year, an attorney for Chulpayev vows that his client “grieved” after hearing news of Lil Phat’s murder. The Russian mobster will be extradited to Atlanta to face formal charges.