Family claims political scandal pushed attorney to suicide; Lawsuit filed

Photo courtesy of the Mayfield family

MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — The family of an attorney who killed himself three years ago after a high-profile political scandal is suing several people and agencies.

Robin Mayfield found her husband Mark Mayfield dead in their home on June 27, 2014.

Photo courtesy of the Mayfield family

She along with their two sons filed a lawsuit three years to the exact day of his death. The complaint alleges that the events that happened after Mayfield’s arrest, including public humiliation, caused him to commit suicide. The are requesting for compensatory and punitive damages, along with other general relief.

The Republican Party in Mississippi was at odds when State Senator Chris McDaniel ran against longtime U.S. Senator Thad Cochran. Tensions got even higher after photo scandal was revealed.

The lawsuit alleges that the Mississippi Tea Party, who supported McDaniel, wanted to expose Cochran for having an alleged affair with his assistant. The document says the Tea Party claimed that during the time of the alleged affair, Cochran’s wife was a resident living at a nursing home at St. Catherine’s Village. This is the same facility where Mayfield’s mother was living.

Richard Wilbourn, III is an attorney and was involved with the Tea Party, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges Wilbourn along with a few others had the idea that someone should try to get a photo of Mrs. Cochran at the nursing home to expose the rumored affair; he believed it would help McDaniel in his campaign.

Wilbourn was never charged or arrested throughout the investigation.

The document also claims that Wilbourn knew that Mrs. Cochran was at the same facility as Mayfield’s mother. It states his mother died on March 16, 2014, and that Wilburn capitalized on the opportunity and asked to meet Mayfield at the facility.

Mayfield went to the facility that next month to clean out his mother’s number room and Wilbourn came. The lawsuit said Mayfield pointed him in the direction of Mrs. Cochran’s room. Mayfield’s family said he told Wilbourn he would do nothing further.

The complaint alleges that Wilbourn contacted a blogger, Clayton Kelly, to come to the facility snap a photo of Mrs. Cochran.

Kelly came to the facility at a later date and snapped the photo. The lawsuit says he posted a YouTube video that included a still photo of Mrs. Cochran.

Mayfield and a couple of others were later arrested for conspiracy to commit felony exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

His law office lost its largest client because of the allegations.

The family says Wilbourn and several others mentioned in the lawsuit caused Mayfield to experience an irresistible impulse to commit suicide.

Mayfield’s family is suing Wilbourn, the law firm Butler Snow, Managing Member of Butler Snow Donald Clark, the City of Madison, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler, Madison Police Chief Gene Waldrop, and officers Chuck Harrison and Vickie Currie.

The Carson Law Group is Representing the family. Below is a statement of Robin Mayfield, Mark Mayfield’s wife:

“On June 27, 2014, our family lost a great Christian man, a great father, a great citizen of Mississippi and of this Country. When Mark was arrested on May 22, 2014, we knew he was unconstitutionally mistreated and wrongfully arrested. As Mark is no longer alive to defend himself, we’ve spent the past years investigating many parties and actors involved in this matter and intend to hold those accountable for their actions. Mark was silenced, and this is his voice today.  The Rev. Billy Graham, Sr. states that in our society “we have abused power and called it politics…we have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.”  God’s justice and righteousness will be served in this life or the next. And Mark’s voice will be heard.”

The Butler Snow law firm also released a statement:

“The Mayfield family experienced a deep and painful loss and we are saddened for them. But as to the lawsuit filed by Mr. Carson, there are no facts to support it and no basis for the claims he has made against our law firm. For that reason, we will vigorously defend that suit.”

Click here to read the full lawsuit.

 

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