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Trial of man accused of killing Coldspring postal worker delayed until Feb. 2016

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The capital murder trial of the man accused of slaying a Coldspring postal worker in May 2013 has been reset – again. The trial of James Wayne Ham, 38, is scheduled to begin on Feb. 16, barring any last-minute issues with witnesses or experts.

Ham is accused of killing Eddie “Marie” Youngblood on May 17, 2013, by shooting her multiple times and then setting her body on fire inside her vehicle.

Youngblood was on the phone with one of her two sons at the time of the shooting.

A federal affidavit, which was released a couple of days after the fatal shooting, details the crime.

“The son stated he was speaking with his mother via cellular telephone while she was delivering her route when he heard two loud noises that sounded like a ‘pow, pow’ or ‘bang, bang.’ After asking his mother what had happened, she told him she thought she had been shot,” the affidavit reads. “The son began shouting into the telephone trying to communicate with his mother when he heard an unintelligible male’s voice over the telephone. The son then heard his mother say, ‘Please don’t kill me, please don’t kill me.’ The call was disconnected by the son and he was unable to reestablish contact with his mother. At this point, the son called 911.”

The motive of the shooting, according to the affidavit, is that Ham reportedly blamed Youngblood for passing along his mail to his ex-wife, who was also a postal worker. That information was revealed when Ham was arrested and questioned by investigators.

According to the affidavit, once in custody and during the interview process, Ham waived his rights and agreed to speak with investigators.

“During the interview, Ham admitted to having problems with his mail delivery and blamed the USPS employee Youngblood. He stated he decided to kill her and then wanted to kill his estranged wife,” the affidavit reads. “On May 17, 2013, he loaded his .30-30 rifle, grabbed a bottle of lighter fluid and extra rifle shells and hid in the tree line on Dejardo Lane. After the victim delivered his mail and began leaving, he shot her approximately four times. He then got in her vehicle and drove it the short distance to the water supply location and doused the vehicle with lighter fluid and set it on fire.”

Ham then reportedly hid the rifle and burned the boots he was wearing. The rifle was later recovered by law enforcement.

Because the case involves the murder of a federal postal worker, the trial is not being held in San Jacinto County. Instead it is being held at the federal court building on Rusk Ave. in Houston.

Kathleen Scardino, the lead attorney for the defense, says she does not foresee any more delays unless a problem arises with a witness or expert.

“It takes a while to get experts together to prepare for the lengthy punishment phase of the trial,” Scardino said.

The defense is also hoping to be successful in a request to deauthorize the death penalty in Ham’s case in exchange for a guilty plea and life without parole.

“When someone is willing to accept life without parole, that is something that has to be considered,” she said, adding that she believes the death penalty in Texas is unfair because it is “too discretionary.”

Youngblood’s family sees it differently. They have grown weary of the multiple resets in the trial and feel they are being denied justice.

“It’s getting ridiculous. All we want is some kind of closure for justice to be served for her,” said son George Youngblood Jr. “He (Ham) is buying more time. She didn’t have an option. She didn’t have a choice about her death. Why does he get one?”

Source: Trial of man accused of killing Coldspring postal worker delayed until Feb. 2016 – Your Houston News: News

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