The fight to get former No Limit Records rapper McKinley “Mac” Phipps Jr. out of prison has a new glimmer of hope. Video has surfaced of his bodyguard, Thomas Williams, confessing to the shooting that sent Mac to prison in 2001.
Huffington Post has obtained and posted a video of Williams confessing to shooting then 22-year old Barron Victor Jr. at Club Mercedes in Slidel, La. back in 2000.
In the video consists of a police interview with Williams that was a part of the investigation into Victor’s death. Williams can be heard saying someone was charging him with a beer bottle, he panicked, then pulled his gun out and fired.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Williams told the detective in the video. “I was protecting myself … He was coming towards me to hurt me.”
Mac has long maintained his evidence, despite many offers of parole for admitting guilt. But even after serving 16 years of a 30 year sentence, he has refused to confess to a crime he says he did not commit.
“I didn’t do this crime,” Mac told The Huffington Post. “My conviction was an injustice — it was wrong. The only thing that’s kept me going all these years is always believing that someday my innocence is going to prevail.”
Prosecutors in Mac’s case have been accused of doing everything from using his lyrics against him to bullying witnesses to change their stories to withholding evidence.
Williams even testified that he was the shooter at Mac’s trial in 2001, but they insisted to the judge that Mac had earned the loyalty of his employees and that Williams was trying to cover for him.
Mac remains in prison even though ballistics show that the revolver that he owns was not the murder weapon. The newly elected District Attorney in Louisiana refuses to look into the case despite new evidence clearing Mac of guilt.
Before the shooting Mac was considered one of the better artists on Master P‘s No Limit Records. His albums, 1998’s Shell Shocked and 1999’s World War III, demonstrated lyricism that was at the time considered an anomaly at the label that was mostly known for rowdy, street club-oriented records.