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Man arrested in killing of gay mayoral candidate in Mississippi

February 28, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Lawrence Reed, 22, has been charged in the death of Marco McMillian, a mayoral candidate in the Mississippi Delta.
Lawrence Reed, 22, has been charged in the death of Marco McMillian, a mayoral… (Coahoma County Sheriff's…)

A 22-year-old Mississippi man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of an openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Miss., officials said.

Lawrence Reed of Shelby, a resident of Clarksdale, was charged with murder, the Coahoma County sheriff’s office announced on Thursday.

There was no immediate indication of a possible motive.

The body of Marco McMillian, 34, was found near a Mississippi River levee about 15 miles from Clarksdale, in the southwest part of Coahoma County at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said they had been searching for McMillian for about 24 hours, after his SUV had been involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. McMillian was not in his SUV at the time, prompting the search.

Reed was the driver of the SUV. He was taken to Regional Medical Center at Memphis, Tenn., where he was listed in good condition Thursday morning, a spokeswoman told The Times.

Coahoma County is in the northwest corner of Mississippi, and Clarksdale, the county seat, is in the center of the county.

Jarod Keith, McMillian’s campaign spokesman, confirmed the candidate was openly gay but said it never came up during the campaign.

“We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life,” Keith said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Tragically, that life has been cut short.”

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