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Mayoral candidates murder trial to move forward

CLARKSDALE — A Mississippi judge has allowed prosecutors to proceed with their case against a man charged in the death of Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian.

The Press Register reports that Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster heard details of the investigation during a preliminary hearing for McMillian’s alleged killer, Lawrence Reed.

Sheriff’s office investigator Marene Jones said phone records indicate McMillian and Reed knew each other before the aspiring politician’s nude, battered body was found Feb. 27 near a Mississippi River levee.

Jones said Reed told investigators that McMillian invited him to a party before driving him on a back road in Quitman County, stopping his vehicle and watching pornography on his phone.

Reed allegedly strangled McMillian before dumping his body near the levee in Coahoma County, dousing it with gasoline and setting it on fire.

The following morning, Reed’s girlfriend called police after he showed up at her home in McMillian’s sport utility vehicle. He drove off and crashed McMillian’s SUV head-on into another vehicle, authorities said.

Wilbert Johnson, Reed’s attorney, argued that Friday’s testimony didn’t support a murder charge and urged Webster to reduce it to manslaughter, but the judge refused.

A trial date hasn’t been set. Reed, who remains jailed on $1 million bond, didn’t speak during the hearing.

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