Metro Atlanta man sentenced to life for murder of Texas rapper Chucky Trill

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Edwards Thomas, who faces malice murder and aggravated assault charges in the death of Core Detiege, also known as rapper Chucky Trill. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

A metro Atlanta man will spend the rest of his jail in jail for the targeted murder of a Texas rapper on Interstate 85.

At around 3 a.m. March 5, 2021, the Gwinnett County Police Department responded to the interstate just about 15 miles north of Atlanta. It was there that they found 33-year-old Corey Detiege, also known as rapper Chucky Trill.

Detiege had been in town for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game weekend and was diving a rented SUV with four friends when police say someone fired multiple times from a nearby vehicle on the interstate.

Using traffic cameras and license plate scanners, investigators identified what they thought was the suspect's vehicle and traced the car to James Edward Thomas.

Interviews with Detiege's wife revealed a connection to Thomas, who she said held a grudge against the rapper over a drug deal gone wrong in Houston the year before.

"Mrs. Detiege stated that the defendant was nicknamed ‘Legz’ because he had previously lost both legs below the knees in a train accident," the Gwinnett County District Attorney said. "The suspect vehicle was registered to James Thomas, who also had a driver’s license restriction of ‘prosthetics required.’"

After obtaining warrants for data from cell phone towers and searching for phones that were in at least two of the three locations, investigators say they found four Google accounts, two of which belonged to Thomas.

Thomas was arrested in December 2021 while trying to get on a plane at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Prosecutors say Thomas took a "precise route" that followed the Texas rapper, going from Thomas' home in Jonesboro to the first nightclub Detiege visited, to the second nightclub, then finally to the spot on I-85 where the man was killed. They also revealed to the court threats Thomas had texted to Detiege.

A jury convicted the Jonesboro man of malice murder, aggravated assault, and using a firearm during the commission of a crime.

This month, a judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 105 years to run consecutively.