Photo of Kelly with Sen. McDaniel (Source: Kelly's blog)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Political opportunity or isolated incident?
A conservative blogger is behind bars after being accused of committing a felony to spice up his website.
It involves taking a photo of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's wife without her consent.
Twenty-eight-year-old Clayton Kelly is no stranger to politics.
Kelly's posts both on his blog and Twitter account show someone with conservative views and support for State Sen. Chris McDaniel, who's running against incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
Those conservative views are hardly a rarity in Mississippi.
But Madison police say Kelly's actions now make him a felon.
They say he got into St. Catherine's, a nursing home in Madison, and managed to take a photo of Cochran's wife in her room.
The photo was posted to his website, reports say, as part of an anti-Cochran video.
Cochran released a statement through his attorney to address the matter Saturday.
"I have been fortunate to have a wonderful family, and like so many families, we are deeply affected by my wife's serious, long-term illness, that we consider to be a very private family matter. We will continue doing everything we can to protect my wife's safety and security," the statement said.
McDaniel's campaign issued two statements Saturday, one from McDaniel himself, condemning Kelly's actions.
The second is from McDaniel's campaign spokesperson, Noel Fritsch, who resents any implication they were involved.
"It is unconscionable for the Cochran campaign and the liberal media to use the act of a sick individual to lob despicable accusations."
McDaniel said his campaign has no connection to Kelly.
McDaniel has at least met the man, as this photo on Kelly's blog from February 2014 shows.
The Hill reported inconsistencies in when McDaniel's campaign knew about the incident.
When asked about it Saturday morning in DeSoto County, The Hill reports McDaniel knew nothing about it.
The statement contradicts Fritsch's statement Saturday afternoon that indicated they learned about it from a political blog Friday night.
That blog: Jackson Jambalaya, which never mentioned the vulnerable adult was indeed Rose Cochran.
The question now: How did McDaniel's campaign know Rose was the victim?
3 On Your Side reached out to Cochran's campaign spokesperson Jordan Russell Saturday evening.
His words: "If this is what they're saying now, Chris McDaniel and his campaign need to get their story straight. They clearly got caught in a lie."
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