Gov. Edwards grants rapper Mac Phipps clemency after serving 20 years in prison

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FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks on set before the start of the Louisiana Governor’s runoff debate at Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge, La. At a news conference Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, Edwards announced that Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the head of the Louisiana National Guard, is retiring after 37 years in the military, including eight years as its top leader during the state’s response to disasters including major floods, hurricanes and cyberattacks on government. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP, File)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — McKinley Phipps Jr. is one step closer to freedom. The New Orleans-based rapper has been granted clemency from Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The news was confirmed by his family late Thursday night.

Also known as “Mac,” Phipps was signed to Master P’s No Limit Records in 2000.

While preparing to perform at a local club in St. Tammany Parish in February 2000, a fight broke out and 19-year-old Barron Victor Jr. was shot and killed.

Despite the lack of evidence linking him to the shooting, McKinley was arrested for the crime and convicted of manslaughter. Since then, witnesses in the case have recanted their statements.

Now that the governor has approved the parole board’s clemency recommendation, Phipps has to have another hearing. If released, he will have to spend 10 years on parole.

His attorneys are also working to reverse his manslaughter conviction. Louisiana is now a unanimous jury state, and Phipps’ conviction was ruled by a 10-2 jury. If it’s reversed, he would not have to be placed on parole. More on Phipps’ story here.

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