Three more people have arrested in connection with the photographing of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) wife, Rose, who is a patient in a Madison, Mississippi nursing home.
Mark Mayfield (pictured right), a member of the board of directors for the Central Mississippi Tea Party, was arrested Thursday, according to the Clarion Ledger of Mississippi.
At around 2:34 PM EDT Clarion-Ledger editor Sam Hall tweeted that the second arrest on Thursday in connection to the “Constitutional Clayton” photographing case was Richard Sager of Laurel.
A little more than an hour later The Clarion Ledger reported that a third suspect, John Mary (pictured above) was charged for conspiracy in connection to Kelly. Police confirmed later in the day that Mary had been arrested but then released on “his own recognizance due to extensive medical conditions after consulting with his attorney and the Madison/Rankin County District Attorney’s Office.”
Appearing in court shortly after news broke of the arrest, Mayfield faces conspiracy charges while Sager faces charges of tampering with evidence and conspiracy. Sager’s bond was set at $250,000 per count while bond for Mayfield was set at $250,000 on each count.
Clayton Kelly was arrested Friday and faces felony charges of photographing or filming another without permission where there is expectation of privacy and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, which carries up to a 10-year sentence. Kelly wanted to use the photograph of Cochran’s wife in an anti-Cochran video.
Kelly’s lawyer, Kevin Camp, in an interview with TPM after his court appearance on Thursday, said Kelly had cooperated with police so far with the investigation. Kelly had handed over computers and passwords in their investigation, Camp said.
“He told them everything he’s doing, provided everything to them,” Camp said. He said Kelly passed over “computers, any passwords, anything like that. Cell phones, anything of that nature.”
But Kelly is denying that he knew who Sager, Mayfield, and Mary are.
Kelly’s bond was also increased from $100,000 because of two additional charges against him: a charge of conspiracy and a felony charge for photographing Rose Cochran. Kelly’s new bond was set at $200,000. Kelly had already been charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Kelly, Camp confirmed to TPM, had previously been charged with a felony for marijuana possession in 2007. He ended probation for that charge in 2010, according to Camp. A local report also confirmed that Kelly had previously faced charges for cocaine.
Kelly supports state Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran’s tea party primary challenger. Mayfield appears to be a McDaniel supporter as well and, according to the Clarion Ledger’s Sam Hall, contributed $500 to McDaniel and served as an active volunteer on his campaign.
Authorities claim Kelly photographed Rose Cochran at St. Catherine’s nursing home in Madison, where she is bedridden and suffering from progressive dementia. Kelly, a political blogger and McDaniel supporter, allegedly used the photo in a video he posted online.
The district attorney in Madison, Mississippi, Michael Guest, told the state’s WAPT Channel 16 news that he did not believe the McDaniel campaign is directly involved.
When reached by TPM Mayfield’s law practice said they had no comment.
This post was updated.