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The slaying of gay Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian has resulted in a murder charge of suspect Lawrence Reed on Monday (March 4). Following the announcement by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department, the McMillian family issued a statement alleging that the political hopeful was savagely beaten and left for dead. 

Memphis NBC affiliate WMC-TV received the statement from the family, revealing details of the crime to the public as the coroner’s office is still determining an official cause of death.

From WMC-TV:

This is a very difficult time for us, the family of Marco Watson McMillian of Clarksdale, Mississippi, as we have lost our beloved son, family member, and friend. In this time of our great loss, we want to thank everyone for their words of comfort and support.

We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire). This was reported in our meeting with the local coroner on two occasions. We were informed that the official autopsy report could take two to four weeks to complete. We feel that this was not a random act of violence based on the condition of the body when it was found. Marco, nor anyone, should have their lives end in this manner.

Reed was targeted in the crime after being found driving McMillian’s SUV during an accident investigation. The 22-year-old Reed later told police officials where they could find McMillian’s body, which was discovered near the Mississippi River. It is not known if McMillian or Reed knew each other.

According to the Clarksdale Press Register, McMillian’s funeral will be held in Clarksdale at Coahoma Community College’s Pinnacle Building this Saturday (March 9) at 10 a.m.

Check out photos of the suspect, the crashed SUV and McMillian in the gallery.

Photo: marcomcmillian.com

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