It has been more than one month since the murder of Marco McMillian, the 34-year-old fundraising executive who was running for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi. McMillian was gay. But the cause of death still remains "largely a mystery" pending an overdue autopsy report, according to the AP.
Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith says the state crime lab is waiting for an investigative report from the sheriff's office. He says that will be incorporated into the autopsy report before it's released.
Lawrence Reed is charged with murder, but authorities haven't released a possible motive. Carter Womack, McMillian's godfather, says the family is frustrated by the lack of information.
McMillian's body was found on February 27 near a Mississippi River levee. Murder charges were filed against 22-year-old Lawrence Reed on February 28. Reed was extradited to Mississippi from Tennessee in mid-March.
Police investigators and several of the suspects' friends have said the suspect is claiming a disgusting "gay panic" defense. More recently: Friends of the suspect now say that Reed claims McMillian tried to "rape" him.
McMillian's family initially insisted that his sexuality was a not factor in his death. The family later claimed that McMillian was beaten, tortured and burned. The Coahama County coroner has disputed the family's claims, notes the Clarion-Ledger, the New York Times and the AP. "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."
Jarvis Deberry at the New Orleans Times-Picayune asked readers, "Does the Black Community Care Less When Its Gay Members are Killed?" in early March. The article picked up on my reporting at EBONY on the Marco McMillian, Robert Champion and James C. Anderson murders.
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