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Man charged with killing Mississippi gay mayoral candidate

Man charged with killing Mississippi gay mayoral candidate

A 22-year-old man has been charged with murder of a gay mayoral candidate, whose body was found near a river levee in the Mississippi Delta this week.

The Associated Press reported that Coahoma County Sheriff’s department stated in a news release that Lawrence Reed of Shelby was charged in the death of Marco McMillian, a 34 year-old gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

McMillian’s bid received press attention as he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

An investigation began Tuesday when McMillian’s SUV slammed head on into another car on US highway with Reed driving it without McMillian.

McMillian’s body was found the next day near the Mississippi River levee but the cause of death is still unclear as a report is still being completed after autopsy and tests.

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

Little is known about Reed or how he was acquainted with McMillian.

A recent address listed for Reed was at a Clarksdale apartment complex, but the manager said the unit was rented by another man who has since moved out. The manager said he did not know Reed.

Sissiretta Melton, a long time friend of McMillian told the AP she and residents of Clarksdale were devastated by his death: ‘It’s just terrifying to everybody that knew him personally because you ask, “Why?”

‘Why would it happen to someone like him?

‘He knew this town needed him.

‘Kids here have nothing. We don’t even have a decent movie theater. He wanted to bring those things here.’

McMillian was CEO of MWM & Associates, described on its website as a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations.

In addition to his role at the fraternity from 2007 to 2011, McMillian had previously worked at Alabama A&M University and at Jackson State University.