Exclusive Coverage: Judge Considers Granting Accessory to Murder Suspect A Bond in the Killing of Rapper Lil Phat

| March 6, 2014 | 0 Comments
mani chulpayev

Mani Chulpayev

Atlanta (Fulton County) – Reported by: Dennis Byron

The former Russian mobster, Mani Chulpayev was back in court on Tuesday before Judge Craig Schwall to address the defendant’s motion for reconsideration of bond for the alleged accessory to murder of rapper Melvin Vernell III professionally known as Lil Phat.  Defense Attorney, Tanya Miller delivered a compelling set of facts as to the change in circumstance surrounding the case since the last bond hearing of why the court should entertain this hearing.  During defense attorney Miller’s argument, she outlined improprieties in the “statement of facts” given in the previous bond hearings. 

tanya miller

Defense Attorney Tanya Miller/Credit: Dennis Byron (c) 2014

However, Fulton County Prosecutor Sheila Ross expressed to the court why she believed the former FBI informant Chulpalev should remain in jail. Ross pointed out that Chulpalev may not have been the triggerman but he help facilitate the murder by giving the GPS code to to his alleged accomplices that were named in the indictment. She stated that his motivation for doing so was because he didn’t want Vernell to cooperate with the investigation of his illegal car scams.

Both lawyers were adamant about their positions and at one point it appeared that the two would be open to slugging it out in the ring, watch the video, pretty compelling!

It was WSBTV’s Consumer Investigative Reporter Jim Strickland who first reported on Chulpayev’s car scams in his special report that aired back in 2011.

The Lil Phat Murder

To bolster her argument, Ross pointed out to presiding Judge Craig Scwalll that there are currently several warrants out for Chulpayev arrest in Dekalb County, Georgia stemming from his alleged involvement in auto fraud crimes.

ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

Judge Schwall instructed both parties to submit proposed orders as to the Ayala (262 GA 704) bond factors.  Statutory bond factors [OCGA 17-6-1€] is that the defendant:

1.       Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;

2.       Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;

3.       Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and

4.       Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstruction the administration of justice. 

We will continue to follow this story as developments unfold.

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