20th anniversary rally of MacPhail murder

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A rally was held Wednesday morning for the 20th anniversary of the murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

MacPhail was killed in 1989 while working at an off-duty security job.

On the 20th anniversary of his death, friends, family and supporters of Officer MacPhail rallied for justice in the case.

The man convicted of killing MacPhail, Troy Anthony Davis, has been on death row since his conviction in 1991.

Since then, seven witnesses have recanted their testimony and an effort to free Davis has gained both national and international attention.

In the past two decades, Davis has filed numerous appeals and has received several stays of execution.

Then on Monday, the US Supreme Court granted Davis' request for a hearing in Federal District Court in Savannah.

Now, a Georgia federal judge must decide if there is enough evidence to prove that Davis did not murder MacPhail.

But supporters of Mark MacPhail say Davis is the killer and want justice to be done. They made that message loud and clear at a rally in front of the Chatham County courthouse Wednesday morning.

Former police chief David Gellatly, county commissioner Dean Kicklighter and Mark MacPhail Jr. all spoke at what became an emotional morning in front of the courthouse.

"I never knew my father, only from what other people tell me about him and how much I look like him," Mark MacPhail Jr. said. "And I'm doing this for him, to honor him and to remember him and this will probably be the closest I will ever get to my father."

On Monday, MacPhail Jr. told WTOC his family hopes the upcoming evidentiary hearing for Davis puts an end to any doubts people have about the night his father was killed.

After the rally, supporters marched down Oglethorpe and ended with a laying of the wreath ceremony at the police memorial.

Around 60 people attended the rally.

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