A new investigative report from The Lens conducted by The Medill Justice Project raises questions about the conviction of former No Limit rapper Mac for the shooting of a 19-year old man in Slidell, Louisiana in 2000. Mac, whose given name is McKinley Phipps Jr., also went by the nickname “Mac The Camouflage Assasin” and was just 24-years old at the time of the shooting and was convicted of manslaughter for the incident in 2001. Currently serving a 30-year prison sentence that will see him released in 2024, Mac “has maintained his innocence throughout,” according to The Lens.
The new report digs up and questions shady eye-witness testimonies and raises the point of a separate confession to the murder that was apparently turned away by investigators in the case. In addition to the issue of a separate confession, The Lens points out that “two people at the club that night later questioned whether the key eyewitness who testified against Phipps saw the shooting.” Even more pressing, “the only other eyewitness to testify against Phipps backed off her claim of seeing him fire his gun. She said she had gone back to the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office to recant her statement, but the prosecutor said during the trial he had no knowledge of her doing so. Last year, she signed an affidavit saying she had been coerced into accusing Phipps.”
Additionally, a friend of Mac’s named Russell Baker claims to have been standing directly beside Phipps when the shots were fired, telling The Medill Justice Project, “I know he didn’t do it. As close as I am to this table is where I was with him that night.”
During the trial, prosecutors also leaned on Mac’s music and lyrics as a way of painting him in a poor light, a legal precedent that is again being questioned in an entirely separate case reported by HipHopDX earlier this year.
“None of them…described what happened in that club,” Mac’s attorney said of the rapper’s lyrics introduced in the trial. “None of them were describing some accurate, violent event that McKinley was involved in… it was art.”
Now 37-years old, Mac is currently serving his sentence at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center and again reiterated his innocence in a recent interview.
“I did not kill [Victor],” he said. “And I just hope that someday that I can prove to this young man’s family that I didn’t take his life.”
Read the full story on The Lens here.