There is an important new development in the murder of Marco McMillian, the 33-year-old fundraising executive who was running for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi. McMillian was gay. The man who police say has confessed to killing McMillian has been extradited to Mississippi from Tennessee, reports the Clarion-Ledger and The Associated Press.
Lawrence Reed 22, is charged with murder in the death of 33-year-old Marco McMillian. 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. It wasn't immediately clear where Reed was being taken. A spokesman for the Coahoma County Sheriff's Office had no immediate comment.
McMillian's body was found on February 27 near a Mississippi River levee. Murder charges were filed against Reed on February 28. 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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that it is monitoring" the case—but "has not indicated that it has opened its own investigation." This after a request by Rep. Bennie Thompson who was responding to family members who McMillian's death investigated as a hate crime.
McMillian's family initially insisted that his sexuality was a not factor in his death. The family now claims 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."
Marco McMillian's funeral service was on March 9. His sexuality was never publicly mentioned.
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