November 26, 2014 9:59:04 AM
The case against two men charged with a West Point beating should be presented to the next grand jury, according to District Attorney Forest Allgood.
Marquavious McMillian, 20, of Aberdeen, and Courtez McMillian, 22, of Okolona, were arrested in August and charged with one count of aggravated assault for allegedly beating Ralph Weems IV in the Huddle House parking lot. Authorities have declined to say if the two are related. Each received a $250,000 bond for their alleged role in the Aug. 23 incident.
Authorities previously said the case would be presented to the grand jury in October. Allgood said the case has not yet been presented but should be in the coming months. It is up to a grand jury to decide whether the charges should be elevated to a hate crime. Allgood said, to his knowledge, there has not been a hate crime indictment in the 16th District, which includes Lowndes, Clay, Oktibbeha and Noxubee counties.
The West Point case has drawn national attention for its racial undertones after a witness said Weems was beaten because he was white. Marquavious McMillian and Courtez McMillian are black. Police Chief Tim Brinkley has said evidence does not support claims the incident was racially motivated.
Wednesday, Constance Levail McFarland, 21, of Aberdeen, was also arrested for his alleged role in the incident. McFarland was charged with one count of aggravated assault and received a $250,000 bond.
McFarland and Cortez McMillian are currently in the custody of the Clay County Detention Center, according to jail records.
Weems is currently in a rehab facility in Texas, according to the Facebook page "Standing Up for Ralph Weems."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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