Cochran Caper Began With Facebook Chat With ‘Obi Wan Kenobi’ Account


Further details of the alleged conspiracy surrounding a nursing home “break-in” which involved a group of conservative tea partiers in Mississippi have been revealed, including a Facebook correspondence with “Obi Wan Kenobi” and why Kelly chose to take the photograph on Easter Sunday.

A recently released set of incident reports and affidavits of the arrest of the men charged in relation to political blogger “Constitutional” Clayton Kelly offers more clues into exactly how Kelly ended up going to the nursing home of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) wife and taking her picture to use in an anti-Cochran video.

The report, obtained by TPM through a public records request, details how Kelly corresponded with John Mary, going by the name John Bert, over Facebook between roughly Feb. 22 and May 14, ahead of his plans to go to the nursing home to photograph Rose Cochran. According to the memo that came with the affidavits and police reports, “investigative reports and records will not be produced at this stage of the process,” and the district attorney has said the case is still under investigation.

The Facebook user Kelly was talking to, according to police report, used a profile picture “that very closely resembled” Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars and used the name “John Bert.”

“John Bert” gave Kelly his phone number so they could discuss the plan further. Police learned that number belonged to John Mary, who was charged earlier this month with multiple counts of conspiracy. Mary used the name “John Bert” on his radio show “The Right Side,” which he once co-hosted with state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS), Cochran’s primary challenger. Kelly has repeatedly denied he knew the identities of those he was corresponding with.

Mary also told Kelly in some of the messages that a man named “Mark” would have someone call Kelly with instructions on how to find Rose Cochran’s room at the nursing home. The report suggests that “Mark” was Mark Mayfield, an attorney and tea party activist who, like Kelly, was also a supporter of McDaniel.

Kelly told Mary he picked Easter Sunday as the day he would go to the nursing home due to the high number of visitors that day.

It’s unclear from the released documents exactly what role Richard Sager, the other person arrested so far in the investigation, played in the alleged conspiracy. The affidavit for his arrest said he “intentionally destroyed, removed, mutilated, concealed or altered physical evidence with intent to impair its use or availability in the pending or prospective official proceeding.”

Read the reports below:

Public Records Request Response 5-28-14 REDACTED