Mississippi Politician Dead in Apparent Suicide

State Rep. Jessica Upshaw found dead at home of former state legislator

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2013 1:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police in Mississippi are probing the death of a state lawmaker found dead at the home of a former state legislator yesterday. Rep. Jessica Upshaw, 53, was found at the home of Clint Rotenberry, dead from what police say appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. Upshaw, a Republican, had served in the state legislature since 2004 and had a daughter and a young grandson.

Officials say the investigation is still in its early stages. Upshaw is the fifth Mississippi lawmaker to die in the last five months. The others, two representatives and two senators, died of natural causes. "Once again this session, the House has been touched by tragedy," House Speaker Philip Gunn said in a statement. Upshaw "was an outstanding legislator and friend. She was one of the brightest and most competent members of the House. Our hearts break for her family, and our prayers go out to them during this tragic time."

This Feb. 20, 2008 photo shows Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. Simpson County Coroner Terry Tutor says Upshaw died Sunday, March 24, 2013.
This Feb. 20, 2008 photo shows Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. Simpson County Coroner Terry Tutor says Upshaw died Sunday, March 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
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