SHREVEPORT, La. – A Vivian man has been sentenced for assaulting a postal carrier, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Derrick J. Thomas, 28, of Vivian, Louisiana, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. to 137 months (11 years, 5 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment in September 2021 charging Thomas with assault with a deadly weapon and he pleaded guilty to the charge on March 22, 2022. According to information presented to the court, on August 12, 2021, a rural carrier associate working at the Vivian Post Office began servicing her mail route in Vivian which she had been doing for two years. Shortly after starting the route that morning, the rural postal carrier passed Thomas sitting outside his residence (which was an abandoned residence) and parked nearby to begin to deliver mail to the street.
Soon after, the postal carrier got back into her vehicle and began driving but stopped after being flagged down by Thomas. Thomas had a 10” butcher knife hidden on his person and stabbed the postal carrier, who was 5 months pregnant at the time, in the right front shoulder. The carrier hit the accelerator and fled the scene before Thomas could stab a second time. The incident was reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and after an investigation, Thomas was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
“Our federal employees and contractors must feel safe while in the course and scope of their employment,” stated U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “This is especially true when our employees are working in rural areas where law enforcement resources are limited. This defendant, without provocation, committed a violent, inexcusable crime and deserves every day in the jail that the court gave him. We will continue to prosecute those who commit such heinous acts against federal workers.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Louisiana State Police, and the Vivian Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan.