Marco McMillian President Obama

A 22-year-old Mississippi man has been arrested and charged with the death of an openly gay mayoral candidate. Lawrence Reed of Shelby was charged with the murder of Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian, 34, on Thursday.

McMillian’s body was found near the Mississippi River levee Wednesday morning, a day after Reed crashed McMillian’s SUV into another vehicle on U.S. highway 49.

Reed was transported to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, where he is listed in good condition. McMillian’s relationship to Reed is not known.

Lawrence Reed mugshot McMillian is being described in the media as the Mississippi delta’s first openly gay mayoral candidate. But friends say McMillian didn’t flaunt his homosexuality.

“There’s a lot of people upset about it,” said Dennis Thomas, who works for Abe’s Barbeque. “Why would somebody want to do something like that to somebody of that calibre? He was a highly respected person in town,” added Thomas.

McMillian was CEO of MWM & Associates, a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. In 2004, EBONY magazine named McMillian one of the nation’s “30-up-and-coming African Americans under 30”.

Police have not released McMillian’s cause of death. Toxicology and other blood tests from McMillian’s autopsy are pending.

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