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Tea Party leader commits suicide after being arrested for alleged conspiracy

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A major Tea Party leader has been found dead after an apparent suicide.

During the Mississippi Republican primary earlier this year, things got down and dirty and took "politics as usual" to another level. Three men were arrested after allegedly conspiring to photograph the bedridden wife of Republican incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. One of those men was vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, Mark Mayfield.

Along with two others, Mayfield had allegedly teamed with conservative political blogger Clayton Kelly, known as "Constitutional Clayton,” and charged with breaking into the nursing home where Sen. Cochran's bedridden wife was living and taking pictures of her while she was in bed. Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party backed candidate for the same Senate seat denied any accountability or any prior knowledge of the incident.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, Ridgeland Police Department responded to a shooting at Mayfield's home shortly after 9:00 am on Friday morning. Mayfield's wife made the called and stated that her husband had shot himself. Mayfield's attorney, Merrida Coxwell, said he was "shocked" of his client's death and Chris McDaniel sent out a statement on the issue, noting that "regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man."

Madison Assistant Police Chief Robert Sanders has said that his department is still continuing their investigation into the previous charges, and that Mayfield's death in relation to the charges were a "totally separate matter."

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