Former No Limit rapper Mac Phipps granted parole after manslaughter conviction
23 June 2021, 11:42
The rapper has maintained his innocence since his conviction in 2001.
After spending 20 years in prison in connection to a fatal shooting in Slidell, Louisiana, rapper McKinley 'Mac' Phipps has been granted parole for good behaviour.
State officials praised Phipps for mentoring young inmates and for his vocational training during his time inside.
Phipps was convicted of manslaughter back in 2001, after a fight broke out at the St Tammany Parish venue the year prior, and 19-year-old Barron Victor Jr was shot and killed.
In 2014, two key witness told The Lens that they had been coerced into identifying Phipps as the shooter.
Yulon James, a pregnant nursing student testified at trial that she saw Phipps fire the fatal shot, but then acknowledged she "didn't see anything".
“The DA came over to my parents’ house and told me I would have my baby in prison if I didn’t testify,” she said.
Later, in 2016, Barron's fiancée Samantha Barnes - who was 17 when her partner died - told the Huffington Post that she believes Phipps was wrongfully convicted for the crime.
"I feel like a lot of people knew about this," Barnes said. "And I don't understand why. ... But I don't think it's fair that an innocent person is behind bars."
In its investigation, Huffington Post unearthed a videotaped confession of a security guard that worked at the club, stating it was he who killed Victor. The guard was not charged.
Over the twenty-year period, Phipps has appealed for clemency twice, in order to allow for his conviction to be pardoned. While the first appeal was rejected, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards recommended immediate parole eligibility.
The board then unanimously voted to grant Phipps parole.
Speaking of the decision, Phipps said his hearing: “I want to say thank you for this opportunity.
“I definitely want to say I’m sorry to the family of the victim and to just anyone who was affected by this.”