General Crime

Decensae White San Francisco State University Basketball Player Arrested For Alleged Murder of Rapper Melvin Vernell III Known as Lil Phat


A San Francisco State University senior basketball player was arrested in Redwood City last week for the murder of an Atlanta area rapper last June, authorities said. Decensae White, who transferred to SFSU last fall from Santa Clara University where he played basketball during the 2008-09 season, was arrested in Redwood City and extradited to Fulton County on a murder warrant on May 17.

He was wanted in connection with the June 7, 2012, murder of 19-year-old Melvin Vernell III, of Atlanta, who was gunned down in Sandy Springs, a city just north of Atlanta, according to Sandy Springs police. Vernell was a rap artist known as Lil Phat. He was shot at a parking garage near the Northside Hospital Women’s Center.

Witnesses told police they heard shots and saw at least one person running from the scene on foot. Fulton County sheriff’s spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said White is set to appear in court on May 31.

According to his SF State biography White graduated from Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo in 2006 and is from Pacifica. He was named 2006 San Mateo County Player of the year, among other accolades for his ball skills.

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