Man Charged in Slaying of Openly Gay Miss. Mayoral Candidate

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  • JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A 22-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday in the death of a mayoral candidate in the Mississippi Delta.

    The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release that Lawrence Reed of Shelby was charged in the death of Marco McMillian. McMillian, 34, was a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale and was well-known in the community and beyond.

    An investigation began Tuesday when a man crashed McMillian’s SUV into another car on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines. The candidate wasn’t in the car.

    McMillian’s body was found near the Mississippi River levee Wednesday morning between Sherard and Rena Lara, Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith has said.

    The body was sent for an autopsy, and the cause of death hasn’t been made public.

    The sheriff’s department has not released a possible motive for the crime.

    Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith has said McMillian’s campaign was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

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