This Jan. 20, 2007 photo shows Marco McMillian, 34, a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Miss., who was found dead on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/The Clarksdale Press Register, Troy Catchings)
In this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 photo released by the Coahoma County (Miss.) Sheriff's Office, Lawrence Reed, 22, poses or a portrait. Reed, has been charged in the death of a mayoral candidate in the Mississippi Delta. The Coahoma County Sheriff's Department says Reed of Shelby, Miss., was charged with murder in the death of Marco McMillian. (AP Photo/Coahoma County (Miss.) Sheriff's Office)
JACKSON — 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.