Man who took photos of Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife indicted for burglary

October 2, 2014 in News, The Buzz

Flanked by law officers, conservative blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28 of Pearl, Miss.,is escorted in Madison, Miss., city court, Thursday, May 22, 2014, for a hearing on allegations that he took photos of Rose Cochran, the ailing wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., without her permission at the nursing home where she's lived for 13 years. Kelly is charged with exploitation, filming without permission and conspiracy. Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest says Mark Mayfield, a member of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, and Richard Sager of Laurel were also arrested as suspects Thursday in the investigation of photos taken of the ailing wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Flanked by law officers, conservative blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28 of Pearl, Miss.,is escorted in Madison, Miss., city court, Thursday, May 22, 2014, for a hearing on allegations that he took photos of Rose Cochran, the ailing wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., without her permission at the nursing home where she’s lived for 13 years. Kelly is charged with exploitation, filming without permission and conspiracy. Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest says Mark Mayfield, a member of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, and Richard Sager of Laurel were also arrested as suspects Thursday in the investigation of photos taken of the ailing wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — The man accused of taking illicit photographs of the bedridden wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran has been indicted on burglary charges.

Clayton Kelly was served Wednesday with an indictment charging him with one count each of burglary, attempted burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, said Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest.

Kelly, of Pearl, was released in May on $75,000 bond after his arrest on charges of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, filming without permission and conspiracy. Kelly’s lawyer, Kevin Camp, said his client wasn’t re-arrested Wednesday and remains free on that bond.

Camp said the indictment was picked up at the Madison County courthouse. Kelly waived his arraignment and pleaded not guilty.

Police say Kelly photographed Rose Cochran, without permission, in a nursing home and posted her image online. Investigators have said conspirators intended to use images of the woman to advance allegations that her husband, the senator, was having an inappropriate relationship. Thad Cochran has denied any inappropriate acts.

Guest told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the attempted burglary charge related to a previous occasion when Kelly tried to enter the nursing home and failed. He said the burglary charge related to Kelly’s taking the picture on Easter. He said that both charges allege that the underlying crime was not theft of property but intent to exploit a vulnerable adult.

Rose Cochran has been institutionalized with dementia since 2001, has lost the ability to speak and is receiving hospice care, according to her family. Cochran’s challenger in the Republican primary, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, of Ellisville, has denied having anything to do with photographing the senator’s wife.

Guest said prosecutors remained in plea negotiations with another man arrested in the case, Richard Sager, of Laurel. A third man, John Mary, of Hattiesburg, pleaded guilty in August to one felony count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime and was sentenced Mary to five years’ probation and no fine.

A fourth man, attorney Mark Mayfield, of Ridgeland, committed suicide at his home on June 27, authorities said. All four men were McDaniel supporters.

Guest had made earlier statements raising the possibility that others might be charged. Wednesday, though, he said that was unlikely.

“At this point, based on the information we have, I do not expect there to be any other arrests or any other indictments,” Guest said.