Gay Black Student's Killing Terrifies Ole Miss Community
A college town community in Mississippi is worried about continued violence against LGBTQ+ people in the wake of the disappearance and murder of a University of Mississippi student. Mississippi police said that Jimmie "Jay" Lee, a well-known LGBTQ+ community member and Black student at the University of Mississippi, was killed in an isolated incident not indicative of broader threats against the local community. A Lafayette County judge found that police have probable cause to arrest Sheldon Timothy Herrington Jr., 22, for Lee's murder and ordered him to be held without bond. Authorities allege Herrington killed Lee over fears of being outed. "Based on the information collected to date, our investigators believe this crime represents an isolated incident stemming from the relationship between Jay Lee and Tim Herrington," police said in a statement, Mississippi Today reports.It's been three weeks since Herrington was arrested in Oxford, and the area's LGBTQ+ community has been asking police to release more information on the investigation for safety reasons. The incident has shaken students in the college town of Oxford, who told the publication that until recently, they felt safe in the more accepting LGBTQ+ community environment around the university than in much of the state. One community member fears leaving their home, Jaime Harker, director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at UM, told Mississippi Today.Lee had been a regular performer at Code Pink, Oxford's local drag night, and was well known among the LGBTQ+ community. He performed under the name Jay Divaa. Authorities believe that Lee's missing body is somewhere in Lafayette or Grenada County.