Lawrence Reed was arrested for the homicide, and it is being reported that the two men may have had an intimate relationship during the approximately two weeks that they knew one another.
It is also being reported that Reed, who identifies as straight, may have “snapped” as a result of sexual advances on the part of McMillian.
Police have ruled out a hate crime in this case so far, something that some of McMillian’s friends and family members want reconsidered due to the brutal nature of the homicide. According to his family, McMillian had been beaten and burned.
“Marco’s death is a tragedy. He was a champion for justice and now he needs justice,” said friend and former campaign manager Dr. Ravi K. Perry. “To date, it appears his accused will not be charged with a hate crime. We need to ensure Marco’s life and legacy is given the same attention he gave so many others’ lives.”
Prior to his death, McMillian was concerned for his safety. His family is calling for a full investigation into his murder.
Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO at the National Black Justice Coaltiion said her group was “working closely with the family and will be reaching out to the Department of Justice for a proper investigation that does not prematurely rule out McMillian’s death as a racially-motivated or anti-gay hate crime.”
McMillian was initially reported missing after Lawrence Reed, 22, crashed his SUV last Tuesday. Reed was airlifted to Memphis where he was treated for his injuries and later charged with McMillian’s murder.
McMillian announced his candidacy for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi, last month and was believed to be one of the first openly gay candidates to run for office in the state.