Blogger, Clayton Kelly, is facing a five-year prison sentence for his role in videotaping the ailing, late wife of Senator Thad Cochran. Kelly has forgone his right to a trial and has accepted a plea deal from prosecutors.
Standing before Madison County Circuit Judge William Chapman in Canton, Clayton Kelly pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon, to one count of conspiracy to commit a home burglary.
Kelly, and three others, were arrested last spring after a video appeared on Kelly's conservative blog showing the bedridden wife of U-S Senator Thad Cochran in a nursing home.
Before entering his plea, Kelly told reporters that he was acting as a journalist when he took the picture.
“I think a lot of this is political,” said Kelly. “I think my constitutional right should be respected, but I don’t think they meant to attack my constitutional right unless the case gets to that point. I don’t have any more comments. I better not say too much.”
Judge Chapman, however, did not accept Kelly's argument, denying nearly half a dozen requests to either dismiss the case or change the venue. It was then that Kelly's attorney approached prosecutors with a deal.
Michael Guest District Attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties.
“By him stepping up today and admitting to his involvement in this, that’s all we wanted to see,” Guest said. “There has been great speculation that this was all political, there were no crimes that had been committed and this was done nothing more than political gain in a U.S. Senatorial race. I think this puts to bed all of those arguments.”
Kelly has been remanded to the custody of the Madison County Sheriff's Department where he will stay until his sentencing next Monday.