FBI Monitoring Investigation of Candidate's Death

The governmental agency will decide if federal prosecution will be appropriate.

Posted: 03/06/2013 01:15 PM EST

(Photo: AP Photo/The Clarksdale Press Register, Troy Catchings)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The FBI says it has been monitoring the state investigation into the death of an openly gay mayoral candidate in Mississippi.

FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said Wednesday the agency "will assess evidence to determine whether federal prosecution is appropriate." Her statement stopped short of saying the agency has opened its own investigation.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson asked the FBI on Tuesday to review the slaying of Marco McMillian.

Thompson's district includes Clarksdale, where McMillian was running. The 33-year-old McMillian was found slain last week.

Mississippi hate-crime law covers acts motivated by bias against race but not sexual orientation. A federal hate-crime law covers bias against sexual orientation.

McMillian was black, as is the man charged with his murder, 22-year-old Lawrence Reed.


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