Coldspring Man Charged in Death of U.S. Postal Service Worker
|May 20, 2013|
HOUSTON – James Wayne Ham, 36, of Coldspring, was arrested Sunday and charged today with the 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).
“The safety of our workforce and, ultimately, the surrounding communities is of paramount concern to me and this office.” said Magidson. “The killing of a Postal Service worker in the course of his/her official duties is a crime that affects us all. Anyone who is believed to have committed a crime against an employee of the United States will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The complaint was filed just minutes ago in federal court in Houston. Ham is expected to make an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson tomorrow morning, at which time the government is expected to request he be held without bond pending further criminal proceedings.
“The USPIS takes very seriously any threats or violent acts committed against Postal Service employees,” said Wemyss. “We will work vigorously in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to ensure responsible individuals are brought to justice and held accountable.”
The investigation began shortly following the receipt of a 911 call from the son of a 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 near his home in San Jacinto County.
If convicted, he could potentially face the death penalty.
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 Ed Gallagher and Joe Magliolo are prosecuting.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.