More Arrests Made In Connection With Rose Cochran Photo
by Paul Boger on
Clayton Kelly standing with lawyer Kevin Camp
Two more Mississippians have been arrested in connection with photos taken of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's ailing wife. As MPB's Paul Boger reports the arrests come the same day Clayton Kelly, the man accused of taking the photos, appeared in court.
Clayton Kelly made his second appearance in the Madison Municipal Court, yesterday. The hearing was part of an arraignment that officially leveled two more charges, filming without permission and conspiracy, to the exploitation of a vulnerable adult accusation. Kevin Camp is Kelly's attorney.
"The newer charges I don't think apply whatsoever." said Camp. "We've tried cases of this nature and the definitions of lewd and indecent and lascivious and things of that nature are very well defined in our case law, and none of them apply to what happened with this photo."
Madison Police also arrested two additional men in connection with the photos taken of Cochran's wife. Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school teacher, was charged with conspiracy and tampering with evidence, while attorney Mark Mayfield, the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Tea Party, was also charged with conspiracy. Merrida Coxwell, Mayfield's attorney, says he doesn't understand why his client was arrested.
"Quite frankly, knowing a little bit about it, it all shocks me." said Coxwell. "I don't understand the charge. It makes no sense whatsoever. Just like a $250,000 bond doesn't make sense for someone who is literally a pillar in his community."
The arrests come only days before the contentious republican primary race between Thad Cochran and his Tea Party challenger State Senator Christopher McDaniel comes to an end. While both camps have denied any involvement with the photo, Kelly's attorney Kevin Camp says the whole situation is political.
"I think this is all about politics." said Camp. "I think you see all these other people being bought in simply because this is Rose Cochran, there is a race that's going on, it's a closely contested race. I think that's exactly what's happening.
Hattiesburg resident John Mary was also questioned and charged with conspiracy.