After severing half of a 30-year sentence on what he insists is a wrongful manslaughter conviction, McKinley “Mac” Phipps has new information that could possibly set him free. An attorney for Phipps accuses prosecutors of withholding evidence in the case.
Phipps was convicted on the testimony of Nathaniel Tillson who said he saw Phipps shoot 22-year-old Barron C. Victor Jr. The shooting occurred at a concert in Louisiana in 2000.
However, another witness, Jerry Price, said Phipps was outside at the time and therefore could not have been the triggerman. The jury never heard Price’s version of events.
Phipps’ new lawyer, Buddy Spell, plans to file a motion to receive a new trial. He claims prosecutors never informed Phipps’ former lawyers about Price.
The new development follows a trail of witnesses who have since admitted that detectives threatened them into false statements to convict Phipps.
St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery, has said that Price’s story was investigated and found to be “without merit.” Though in a sworn affidavit, Price asserted that he hasn’t spoken with DA since the initial case, 15 years ago.
Phipps’ legal team “hand delivered” document on Price to the DA last August. Montgomery subsequently concluded that there was “nothing new” for him to “look into.”
Price was jailed on probation violation the day after the shooting. Detectives visited him in jail and tried to force him to implicate Phipps in a typed-affidavit. “I remember the affidavit saying something like, ‘I Jerry Price witnessed a murder by Mac.’ I told the detectives that I was not signing that typed-up affidavit.”
Detectives continued to try and strong-arm him into signing, Price recalled. An obstruction charge was later filed against him, but refused by the DA. Price remained staunch in refusing to lie. “I told the detectives that if they put me on the stand in court that I would tell the truth,” he said in a statement.
“The district attorney asked me what the truth was. I told the district attorney that I didn’t see Mac shoot anyone and neither did Nate.”