Documents reveal details of Cochran photo scandal conspiracy - - Jackson, MS

Documents reveal details of Cochran photo scandal conspiracy

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Attorneys say ambition got in the way of common sense in the Cochran photo scandal. Facebook messages show Clayton Kelly wanted to make a name for himself. The plan was to prove what the group believed was Senator Thad Cochran's affair.

We obtained documents that outline the way the conspiracy unfolded. Some of the first Facebook conversations are between John Mary (aka John Bert) and Clayton Kelly. Bert was given Kelly's name as the man for his video job.

"What we are going to do will be explosive," said Bert. "The other side will be hunting for ANY connection to you."

Mark Mayfield didn't commit to doing the job himself but helps with layout and security information for St. Catherine's Village.

"There has to be a line you don't step over," said Madison County Circuit Judge William Chapman at Kelly's sentencing.

The judge believed that line was crossed on Easter Sunday when Clayton Kelly took the photo of Rose Cochran in her room.

Documented conversations show John Bert got antsy when the video wasn't produced and posted as soon as he'd like. The other conspirator, Rick Sager, even gave Kelly advice about the video script and delivery.

"But that picture of her...Sunk my heart...It's HUGE," Sager said in one message. "And takes it home."

Less than a week after taking the picture of Rose Cochran, the video went live.

"Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag and I released the video," said Kelly. "They are gonna attack me regardless. I knew that when I signed up for it."

The facebook messages show the men scrambling only after the video was posted. That same day, Rick Sager changed his tune. He sent,"Chris not happy. Delete everything."

Kelly finally admits, "The picture of Rose was shocking. And maybe it went too far."

Clayton Kelly is the only one of the conspirators that will be locked up. John Mary pleaded guilty in exchange for no jail time. Rick Sager entered a pretrial diversion program. Kelly will spend up to 2.5 years in prison.

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