Mississippi Tea Party leader and attorney Mark Mayfield, one of the four people arrested in connection with the photographing of Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife at an Oxford nursing home, has committed suicide, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports.
“Sources have confirmed that attorney Mark Mayfield has died of an apparent suicide,” the Clarion-Ledger’s Sam Hall wrote.
In April, blogger Clayton Kelly allegedly entered the nursing home and photographed Cochran’s wife Rose. He published the photograph in a YouTube video on April 26, then removed it after state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s campaign discovered it and pushed for its removal.
Cochran’s team found out about the video that day and notified police three weeks later. Within 24 hours, police arrested Kelly. The following week, police arrested Mayfield and conservative activists Rick Sager and John Mary on charges they worked to conduct a “conspiracy” with Kelly to take the photograph.
Mayfield’s legal reputation and business took a severe hit following the incident, people who knew him said. Cochran’s campaign seized on the arrests, running television ads about the incident. At one point, following another incident, Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell said the McDaniel campaign was “full of criminals” who “cannot keep themselves out of trouble with the law.”
“He looked like a shell of a man,” says one person who saw him at an event about four weeks ago right before the primary. Another source said Mayfield had lost many clients after the arrest.