There is an update to the case against the man accused in the brutal slaying of Marco McMillian, the 34-year-old fundraising executive who was running for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi. McMillian was gay.
The trial has been moved to a neighboring county, reports the Associated Press.
The case ... will be presented to a grand jury in Quitman County next year. The circuit clerk's office said Friday that the next grand jury meets Jan. 27, 2014.
A judge in Coahoma County issued an order in August moving the case against Lawrence Reed to Quitman County, where McMillian was allegedly killed. Authorities say McMillian's body was dumped near the levee in Coahoma County in February. Reed has been charged with murder and has been held without bond since his arrest.
Prosecutors say phone records indicate McMillian and Reed knew each other before the aspiring politician's nude, battered body was found Feb. 27.
Quitman County has similar demographics to Clarksdale's Coahama County. Both are largely rural and poor with majority Black populations.
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 fled to Memphis and was extradited to Mississippi in mid-March, according to the court.
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 previously 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."
Hundreds of people attended Marco McMillian's funeral in March. In the age-old tradition of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the Black church ... not one person mentioned that McMillian was gay or that he had already made history in Mississippi politics.
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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