He was behind bars for a manslaughter conviction.
Phipps, who has maintained his innocence, has been behind bars now for 20 years, despite witnesses in the case recanting their statements. In 2016, the Huffington Post even obtained a copy of a videotaped confession of a security guard at the club confessing to pulling the trigger. The guard was never charged, but luckily for Phipps, the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole officially granted him parole Tuesday (June 22).
“Today marks the end of a long fight for justice,” McKinley’s wife, Angelique Phipps said. “Today we are looking towards a brighter future for our family. We are grateful to all of those who have never wavered in their support of Mac’s innocence.”
The three members of the board unanimously voted in favor of Phipps being granted parole immediately. Phipps has appealed for clemency twice before, which would have allowed for his conviction to be pardoned. The first one failed, but in the second attempt, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards recommended immediate parole eligibility.
The date for his release has yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to arrive sometime this year. “I want to say thank you for this opportunity,” Phipps said during the hearing, “I definitely want to say I’m sorry to the family of the victim and to just anyone who was affected by this.” It was also noted during the hearing that Phipps has not had a single disciplinary infraction during his time behind bars.
His parole will initially be under the conditions of a 9 pm-6 pm curfew, six hours of community service a month with at-risk youth, and the promise to stay away from establishments with alcohol.
Check out the full parole hearing above.