HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The attorney of a Hattiesburg man arrested and charged in connection with the Cochran photo incident says his client has no connection with United States Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel or his campaign.
Hattiesburg attorney Doug Lee represents John Beachman Mary, who was the fourth man arrested in the past week after Clayton Kelly posted a picture on his blog of Senator Thad Cochran's wife in her nursing home room.
"He has agreed to cooperate fully in the investigation," said Lee of Mary, who is not being held in jail due to what Lee described as "potentially dangerous" medical conditions.
The Madison Police Department released Mary's charges Thursday afternoon. He is charged with two counts of conspiracy to include the exploitation of a vulnerable person and the photographing or filming of another person without permission where there is an expectation of privacy.
But Lee said on Friday that his client had not yet been charged.
"I don't know if charges have been filed in court and just not served on him yet," he said. "That might be the case."
Mary is also known by his radio name, John Bert. He was a co-host of a right-wing radio show on WMXI in the early 2000s after McDaniel gave up the position when he was elected to the Mississippi Senate.
"I don't know if I ever actually heard him on the air," said Lee.
However, after Lee made that statement, he later explained his own involvement with the radio show at the same time McDaniel was an on-air guest.
"But during that same period of time, I called into the show," he explained. "I don't know if I talked to John Mary at all during that time. Back in its hay day, I was on the show several times because of my involvement in some different legal matters."
Lee and McDaniel are connected through those legal matters. The two worked together on a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, which ended unsuccessfully for them.
"I filed the case in court, and I also worked on that case with Senator McDaniel who was instrumental in getting the case together and filing it," said Lee.
Lee said it's "just a coincidence" that he, McDaniel, and Mary have worked together prior to the Cochran photo case.
"He's a lovely man, a big-hearted person," said Lee of his client. "If you know John Mary, you just can't help but like him."
Lee explained that he has previously represented Mary in a case concerning a "very minor financial matter" in which Mary successfully retrieved a deposit.
According to Lee, Mary said the four men arrested have had "no talks" with the McDaniel campaign or any of its staff, "at least in regards to what happened with Senator Cochran's wife."