Mark Mayfield, the Mississippi Tea Party vice chairman who was arrested in connection with the plan to photograph Senator Thad Cochran’s ailing wife, has committed suicide.
The Clarion-Ledgerreported that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.
Mayfield was arrested in May along with Clayton Thomas Kelly, a blogger who supported Cochran’s Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel; Richard Sager, a physical education teacher; and John Beachman Mary, who worked with McDaniel on the right-wing radio program Right Side.
Authorities believed the four of them conspired to break into the nursing home caring for Sen. Cochran’s wife, Rose, and take a photograph of her to use in a “hit piece” against him.
When the photograph surfaced online, the Cochrans’ attorney notified police.
The McDaniel campaign immediately distanced itself from the four, releasing a statement in which the then-candidate expressed his “abhorrence for the reprehensible actions” of his supporters.
“This criminal act is deeply offensive and my team and I categorically reject such appalling behavior. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Cochran and his family. Politics is about the exchange of ideas and this type of action has no place in politics whatsoever and will not be tolerated.”
Mayfield’s case would have gone to the grand jury sometime in early July.
[Screen capture of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) via YouTube]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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