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Suspect in slaying of gay mayoral candidate back in Mississippi

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

JACKSON, Miss. — The suspect in the slaying of a mayoral candidate was released to Mississippi authorities on Wednesday, an official said.

Lawrence Reed 22, is charged with murder in the death of 33-year-old Marco McMillian.

Marco McMillian (left) and Lawrence Reed.

Coahoma County authorities took Reed into custody Wednesday afternoon, Chip Washington, a spokesman for the Shelby County sheriff’s office in Tennessee, told The Associated Press.

Reed had been in the Shelby County jail since being released from a Memphis hospital where he was taken after wrecking McMillian’s car on Feb. 26. McMillian was nowhere to be found and his body was found the next day near a Mississippi River levee in Coahoma County.

It wasn’t immediately clear where Reed was being taken. A spokesman for the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office had no immediate comment.

The case has received widespread attention because McMillian’s campaign says he may have been the first viable, openly gay candidate for office in Mississippi. He was running for mayor of Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta.

Authorities haven’t released any possible motive or cause of death. Autopsy results have not been released because authorities have been waiting for the results of toxicology tests.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, has asked the FBI to review the case for possible hate crime charges. The FBI has said it has been monitoring the investigation since March 1.

The FBI could determine whether to file a federal hate crime charge, which covers acts motivated by bias against sexual orientation. Mississippi’s state law against hate crimes covers acts motivated by race, but not sexual orientation.

McMillian was black, as is Reed.

The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office has been the lead agency in the investigation with assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, according to Mississippi Department Public of Safety spokesman Warren Strain.

The victim’s family released a statement last week saying the body was “beaten, dragged and burned,” leading some to assume it was dragged by a car.

Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith has said that McMillian was not dragged by a car, he was dragged out of a vehicle by someone and his body left near a Mississippi River levee. He has said McMillian’s body had a couple of small burns that happened after his death.

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Filed under: Mississippi

14 more reader comments:

  1. hang him

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:33pm
  2. wow sue you beat me to it

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:35pm
  3. This post makes me so sad :-(

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:35pm
  4. thanks for sharing. Please continue to keep us updated because like always mainstream media would rather report on useless information like useless information.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:40pm
  5. So sad, but at least they have a suspect. :(

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:43pm
  6. This is clearly a hate crime and he should get the death penalty!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:43pm
  7. He needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:46pm
  8. Why don’t we wait until they’re done investigating before we condemn this suspect to death. Come on you guys. You’re better than this.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:10pm
  9. I agree it needs to be dealt with as a hate crime and I agree he needs to face punishment but HANGING?!?! Really people? That just sounds ignorant and racist.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:12pm
  10. Scum.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:13pm
  11. I agree, we shouldn’t hang him… hanging is too quick.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:50pm
  12. Wow such hate. Two wrongs dont make a right.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 8:05pm
  13. As a very OUT gay male driving through Mississippi the past 2 months, this tragic Murder needs to receive Justice.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 8:36pm
  14. Castrated his dumb was

    Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 12:40am