Conservative Blogger ‘Constitutional Clayton’ Indicted In Cochran Photo Case
The man accused of taking unauthorized photographs of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife while in a nursing home has been indicted on burglary charges.
Clayton Kelly, also known as right wing blogger “Constitutional Clayton” was served on Wednesday with an indictment charging him with one count each of burglary, attempted burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said.
[su_center_ad]Kelly, a supporter of Tea Partier Chris McDaniel who was Cochran’s opponent, was the only one served with an indictment in the case so far.
“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.
The Clarion Ledger reports:
Guest said Kelly waived a formal reading of the indictment, which contains charges different from those on which Kelly was initially arrested.
Kelly’s attorney, Kevin Camp, said Kelly went to the courthouse in Madison late Wednesday afternoon to be served and remains out on bond from after his May arrest. Camp continues to question whether any laws were broken with the photographing, and says at the least the charges are way overblown. He says the photos, taken for a political hit piece video in Cochran’s primary race against Chris McDaniel, are also likely protected journalistic free speech.
“It’s going to be very difficult to prove a crime was committed,” Camp said. “As for burglary charges … There was no break-in. The security guard held the door open for him … The whole thing is on video, from the time he pulled up at the guard shack to the time he left, all on video. There’s no question what happened.”
Kelly, a McDaniel supporter, was an aspiring political blogger with the site “Constitutional Clayton.” His friends and family have said he wanted to make a name for himself and the blog and was egged on by others over the Internet before taking the photos of Rose Cochran on Easter Sunday.
In May, Kelly was charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult, photo voyeurism and conspiracy. Guest said the indicted charges of burglary and attempted burglary come under the exploitation of a vulnerable adult law.
Initially four people were charged in the case, including Kelly. One of the accused, a Mississippi Tea Party leader, committed suicide in May.
Camp said, “It wasn’t a conspiracy to commit burglary. It was a conspiracy to get a news story out … The original charges were conspiracy for exploitation and voyeurism, now it’s changed to burglary. They are going to have to be creative. They’re trying to make this into something it’s not.”
Camp said Kelly, who is married and has a young daughter with autism, “got hammered” by the charges.
“He lost his job, and got kicked out of his house,” Camp said, according to the Ledger. [su_csky_ad]