CLARKSDALE, MS (abc24.com) - The Coahoma Sheriff's Office has charged a suspect with the murder of Clarksdale politician Marco McMillian.
Lawrence Reed, 22, was charged with the crime February 28. While the sheriff's office didn't release any details on the case, Reed is expected to be extradited to Mississippi once he is released from The MED in Memphis.
Reed was airlifted to The Med after crashing McMillian's SUV Tuesday morning. The body of 34-year-old Marco McMillian was found Wednesday morning; sources close to the investigation say he was strangled. So far investigators have not released McMillian's exact cause of death.
On Wednesday night, Jarod Keith, McMillian's campaign manager, said McMillian was running as an openly gay candidate.
With news of Reed's arrest, rumors were swirling in Clarksdale.
"I want them to stop saying bad things about my brother, period. He's been there for everybody," said Kamilla Evans, a close friend who considers Reed family.
The exact nature of the relationship between him and McMillian isn't clear; they're not friends on Facebook. So, how did they end up together Monday night?
Evans and her husband, Dericc Crump, said McMillian and Reed met at a bar about two weeks ago. She added Reed was not gay or bisexual.
"[McMillian] said the next time he comes to town, he's going to find [Reed] and hang out like they did."
Monday night they were supposed to go to a party in Marks, Mississippi. Instead, Crump said McMillian took Reed to an area he didn't know. According to Crump, Reed's girlfriend later received a hysterical call from the 22 year old.
"She said the guy had tried to get him to commit a homosexual act or whatever," Crump said. "The next thing she knows, she got a call from Lawrence, he done messed his life up, he hopes God forgives him."
Crump said Reed discussed taking his own life, then he crashed McMillan's truck.
"Lawrence isn't a violent person. In order for Lawrence to do something like that he had to feel his life was in danger."
Evans added, "Somebody had to push him. He didn't just go off and do nothing crazy. He's smart, he's real smart."
McMillian's family did not want to comment. Reed is scheduled to be in court Friday.