A Mississippi Tea Party official arrested as part of a U.S. Senate campaign scandal is dead in an apparent suicide, police said Friday.
The 57-year-old lawyer was charged in May, along with others, of planning to capture pictures of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s sick wife in a nursing home bed. They planned to use the pictures in a political ad against the incumbent Republican senator.
Conservative blogger Clayton Kelly, elementary school teacher Richard Sager and political activist John Mary were the other people involved in the conspiracy to gather the pictures. Mayfield, Sager and Mary were all charged in May, with only Mayfield and Sager actually being arrested by police. Mary was not taken into custody due to medical conditions.
All three were charged with felony conspiracy. Sager was also charged with felony evidence tampering and Mary with two counts of conspiracy.
The apparent invasion of Mrs. Cochran’s privacy may have hurt the Tea Party’s candidate, Chris McDaniel, in the runoff election against Cochran earlier this week. McDaniel lost to the six-term incumbent on Tuesday.