HOUSTON A grand jury in Houston returned a two-count indictment against a Coldspring man in the recent murder of a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service.

James Wayne Ham, 36, 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.

The investigation began after the son of the now deceased USPS worker called 911 on Friday, May 17. He said he had been speaking with his mother via cell phone and heard two loud noises. He said his mother told him she had been shot, and then the phone was disconnected.

The woman was shot multiple times at close range with a .30/30 caliber rifle shortly after delivering mail at Ham s residence, investigators said. The victim was on her normal rural delivery route in her personal vehicle.

Ham is accused of shooting the woman and then driving her vehicle to a nearby secluded area where he allegedly set it on fire.

The victim s body was discovered Friday inside 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.

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