Man charged with conspiracy in photographing of Senator's wife in nursing home found dead

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The Mississippi attorney charged with helping a political blogger gain access to the nursing home room of a U.S. Senator's wife was found dead of a gunshot wound Friday.

Mark Mayfield, 57, apparently shot himself in a storage room of his house in Ridgeland, MS, police stated. They recovered his body and a gun from the room on Friday morning, after his wife called authorities and said her husband had shot himself.

A board member of the Central MS Tea Party, Mayfield was implicated in a political scandal that erupted during the state's recent Republican primary. A blogger, Clayton Kelly, gained access to the room of Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's wife at St. Catherine's Village continuing care retirement community, and took photos of her. The photos briefly were posted online in a video meant to help Cochran's political rival by putting the long-time incumbent in an unflattering light.

Mayfield was arrested in May and charged with conspiracy. He allegedly helped Kelly enter and navigate St. Catherine's Village, where his mother had been a resident.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant expressed his condolences to Mayfield's family, adding that Mayfield was a “long-time friend” and that “he will be missed.”

In a come-from-behind victory, Cochran won the Republican primary in a runoff on June 24.

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