Coldspring Man Federally Indicted in Death of U.S. Postal Service Worker
|June 13, 2013|
HOUSTON – A grand jury sitting in Houston has returned a two-count indictment against James Wayne Ham, 36, of Coldspring, in the recent murder of a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service (USPS), United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Inspector in Charge Robert Wemyss, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and San Jacinto County District Attorney Richard Countiss.
Ham is charged with one count of murder and one count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence. The indictment alleges that on or about May 17, 2013, Ham committed premeditated murder of a USPS employee while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties and that he intentionally carried, brandished and discharged a firearm in the commission of that murder.
A criminal complaint was filed Monday, May 20, 2013, the day after his arrest. He made an initial appearance the following day, at which time he was ordered held without bond pending further criminal proceedings. He is expected to make an initial appearance on the indictment in the near future.
The investigation began shortly following the receipt of a 911 call from the son of the now deceased USPS worker on Friday, May 17. He indicated he had been speaking with his mother via cell phone and heard two loud noises. His mother allegedly told him she had been shot. Shortly thereafter, the phone was disconnected, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges the victim was shot on Friday shortly after delivering mail at Ham’s residence. The victim was on her normal rural delivery route in her personal vehicle. Ham allegedly shot her multiple times at close range with a .30/30 caliber rifle.
Ham then allegedly drove the vehicle to a nearby secluded area and set it on fire.
According to the complaint, the victim’s body was discovered Friday in her burning vehicle in San Jacinto County. Firefighters extinguished the flames and found the woman inside.
The investigation eventually led to Ham after it was discovered he had allegedly complained previously about not getting his mail delivered properly, according to the complaint.
Ham was located after an extensive manhunt and arrested without incident Sunday, May 20, 2013, near his home in San Jacinto County.
If convicted, he could potentially face the death penalty.
A variety of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been and will continue to work together in furtherance of the investigation and prosecution of this matter to ensure the proper administration of justice.
The case is being investigated by the USPIS, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Rangers, San Jacinto Constable Precinct 4, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife, San Jacinto County Fire Marshall and the San Jacinto County District Attorney’s Office. Also providing assistance was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the volunteer fire departments in Point Blank and Cape Royale. Assistant United States Attorneys Casey MacDonald, Suzanne Elmilady and Joe Magliolo are prosecuting.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.