Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Candidate for Mayor Slain in Mississippi; Man Taken Into Custody

Marco McMillian, 34, murdered gay candidate for mayor.

Marco McMillian, 34, murdered gay candidate for mayor.

Coahoma County, Mississippi – Police have identified the body of a popular gay mayoral candidate, discovered beside a levee near the Mississippi River.  Marco McMillian, 34, was up until his death a candidate for the Mayorship of Clarksdale, Mississippi in a hotly contested race.  Investigators do not believe that politics played a role in the murder of the well-liked CEO of MWM and Associates, widely known as the first truly viable gay candidate for elective office in the State of Mississippi.  McMillian had been reported missing since Tuesday.

NBC News reports that a 22-year-old Clarksdale man who was behind the wheel of McMillian’s stolen sport utility vehicle when it wrecked, has been airlifted to a Memphis, Tennessee hospital.  Police have taken Lawrence Reed into custody, but refuse to say more about whether Reed is a person of interest in the murder investigation of McMillian.  Reed was involved in a head-on collision in Coahoma County, and is reported to be in good condition.

The Clarion Ledger has done major reporting on this story throughout the hunt for McMillian, whom Ebony Magazine listed in 2004 as one of the “30 up-and-coming African Americans under 30.”  McMillian sought to win the Clarksdale mayoral race to succeed Henry Espy Jr., brother of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, who is stepping down after serving the post for twenty years.  The news of McMillian’s murder rocked the Clarksdale community.  A spokesperson for the McMillian campaign, Jarod Keith, in a statement following the press conference where McMillian’s death was announced, “We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life. Tragically, that life has been cut short.”  One of his opponents in the race, Bill Luckett, offered his sympathies to McMillian’s family and supporters, calling him  “a very articulate, clean-cut young man. It’s a bizarre and tragic situation that deeply saddened [me].”  The Victory Fund, an LGBT political organization that supports gay candidates for public office, issued a brief statement of grief and condolence that read, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi.” 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is on the case, according to The Advocate.  As best as is known at this time, McMillian picked up a man who subsequently killed him and stole his vehicle.  All eyes now turn to the man taken into custody from McMillian’s wrecked vehicle.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gay men, GLBTQ, LGBTQ, Mississippi, Victory Fund | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gay Candidate for Mayor Slain in Mississippi; Man Taken Into Custody


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