Three more men have been arrested in connection with a bizarre alleged scheme to illegally photograph the elderly wife of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran—a scandal that already has shaken up the state’s GOP primary.
Mark Mayfield, a lawyer and board member of the Central Mississippi tea party, has been charged with conspiracy. Richard Sager has been charged with tampering of evidence and conspiracy, reports Mississippi’s WLBT, citing a lawyer for political blogger Clayton Kelly. And Hattiesburg resident John Mary has been charged with conspiracy in connection to the case but was not held in jail due to “extensive medical conditions,” according to Madison police.
Kelly, who is said to go by the nickname “Constitutional Clayton,” was charged Friday with breaking into a nursing home in order to photograph Cochran’s wife, Rose, who has been a patient there since 2000. Rose Cochran is reportedly bedridden and suffering from dementia.
Kelly, 28, allegedly posted the photo online, as part of an anti-Cochran video. Kelly is a supporter of tea party favorite Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Cochran for the GOP nomination.
Kelly is charged with conspiracy, exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and photographing an individual without permission. .
The sensational episode has shaken up the Senate race, in which McDaniel was seen as having a good chance of upsetting Cochran, who has been in office since 1979. Since news of the break-in surfaced, McDaniel’s campaign has been on the defensive, denying claims that it knew in advance about the plot.