Ex-postal worker faces federal indictment in shooting

ATLANTA — A Jackson woman who worked for the U.S. Postal Service joins two alleged co-defendants facing federal charges in connection with the near-fatal shooting of a postal truck driver in Conley, said officials.

LaTonya Evans, 44, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and armed robbery charges for her role in planning a postal robbery in Conley Dec. 20, said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. Alleged co-conspirators Kendrick Watkins, 39, of Rex and Charles Jackson, 55, of Griffin were indicted on charges of conspiracy, armed postal robbery and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence in connection with the robbery and shooting.

Evans worked for the U.S. Postal Service and used her connections to plan the crime, said Yates.

“Evans is charged with exploiting her inside knowledge of the Postal Service for personal profit,” she said. “The conspiracy she is charged with participating in resulted in the near-death of a fellow postal worker whom Evans knew. The indictment charges that he was shot, bound and left for dead by Evans’ co-defendants. We will always aggressively prosecute anyone who commits this kind of horrendous act.”

Postal Inspector Keith Fizel said Evans’ alleged actions don’t reflect the majority of her former colleagues.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s mission and priority is the protection of postal employees,” he said. “Acts of violence are crimes of unspeakable consequences which Postal Inspectors will investigate with rigorous tenacity. While the investigation included a postal employee, Evans’ actions do not represent the vast majority of postal employees committed to doing their jobs.”

Yates said the evidence and testimony will show that Evans helped develop the scheme to rob the postal truck and worked with Watkins and Jackson to carry out the plan. During a routine pick-up in Conley, Jackson and Watkins approached the U.S. Postal employee who was driving the truck and demanded the keys to the postal truck, she said.

“When the victim did not immediately comply, the men shot him in the torso, nearly taking his life,” said Yates. “The robbers then bound the victim’s feet and took his cell phone so that he could not run or call for help.”

Jackson and Watkins drove away with the stolen truck and all its contents and met with Evans afterward to discuss the robbery, she said.

“The victim was forced to crawl several hundred feet to the nearest road where he flagged down a passerby for help,” said Yates.

All defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty.