Mark Mayfield, who sat as the vice chair of the Mississippi Tea Party and who served in the Central Mississippi Tea Party, was found dead in his garage Friday. Mayfield, who lived in a gated community outside Jackson, Mississippi, shot himself in the head. His death comes approximately one month after accusations surfaced that Mayfield conspired with three other men to obtain photos of Miss. Senator Thad Cochran’s wife, who lives in a nursing facility due to dementia.
“A prominent leader of the Mississippi Tea Party who was arrested in connection with photos posted online of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife died on Friday of an apparent suicide,” reported Reuters on Friday.
The 58-year-old Mayfield, who left a suicide note, was connected to the Cochran picture scandal and accused of attempting to use the unlawful pics of the senator’s sick wife, taken back on April 20, in a political ad smear campaign.
Raw Story details the dirty politics:
Mayfield was arrested in May along with Clayton Thomas Kelly, a blogger who supported Cochran’s Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel; Richard Sager, a physical education teacher; and John Beachman Mary, who worked with McDaniel on the right-wing radio program Right Side.
Authorities believed the four of them conspired to break into the nursing home caring for Sen. Cochran’s wife, Rose, and take a photograph of her to use in a “hit piece” against him.
“Everything we see so far, this appears to be a suicide,” Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston said.
Mayfield was supporting Cochran’s Tea Party challenger in the Republican Senate primary, Chris McDaniel, whose campaign team of course immediately distanced themselves and issued a statement from McDaniel condemning the plot. McDaniel lost a close race to Cochran in the Republican primary this week.
“This criminal act is deeply offensive and my team and I categorically reject such appalling behavior,” McDaniel wrote. “My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Cochran and his family. Politics is about the exchange of ideas and this type of action has no place in politics whatsoever and will not be tolerated.”
In a statement, McDaniel spoke about Mayfield:
“Regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man who was always respectful and kind,” he said. “He was one of the most polite and humble men I’ve ever met in politics. He was a loving husband, father, a pillar of his community, and he will be missed. We are saddened by his loss, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, his family and friends.”
Mayfield’s case would have gone to the grand jury in July.