- The Washington Times - Friday, June 27, 2014

The Mississippi tea party leader and lawyer facing charges in the conspiracy to photograph Sen. Thad Cochran’s ill wife in a nursing home has apparently committed suicide, according to reports.

Police officials confirmed Friday that Mark Mayfield, who was arrested last month and charged with in connection with the the campaign scandal of photographing Mrs. Cochran, had been found dead in his garage with a gunshot wound, MSNewsNow reported.

Mr. Mayfield, 57, was a leader of the Central MS Tea Party.

The photos of the sickly Mrs. Cochran were briefly used in an anti-Cochran political video posted online during the Republican primary.

The scandal marred the campaign against Mr. Cochran, 76, who ultimately triumphed in a bitter run-off election against tea party-backed Republican Chris McDaniel.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife, Deborah Bryant, mourned Mr. Mayfield’s death in a statement: “Deborah and I are saddened to hear of the loss of Mark Mayfield. He was a long-time friend, and he will be missed. Our prayers go out to his family in this tragic moment.”