A tea party official charged with conspiring to take photos of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's wife inside a nursing home apparently committed suicide Friday, police said, days after Cochran won a nasty Republican primary.
The body of attorney Mark Mayfield was found Friday morning in the garage of his two-story, brick home in a gated community outside Jackson. A gun was found nearby, Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston said.
Houston says Mayfield had been shot, and a suicide note was found at the scene.
"Everything we see so far, this appears to be a suicide," Houston said.
In a statement, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant expressed sympathy to the Mayfield family.
"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," wrote Bryant, a Republican.
Mayfield and three other men were arrested last month and face various charges of conspiring to photograph Rose Cochran in the nursing home where she has lived since 2001 with dementia. The Cochran family said she has lost the ability to speak and is receiving hospice care.A Tea Party official said Mayfield's "integrity" was "important to him." Also, he was "the finest man."