Man pleads guilty to 2017 shooting of U.S. Mail carrier

Bradley Ahearn faces up to 20 years in prison

By Dawn Jorgenson, David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SPRING BRANCH, Texas - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to shooting a U.S. Mail carrier last year in Spring Branch, officials said.

Department of Justice officials said that by entering a guilty plea, Bradley Ahearn, 23, admitted that he shot the female carrier as she was delivering mail to a cluster of mailboxes Feb. 11, 2017.

Officials said Ahearn fired at the mail carrier because she would not give him her cellphone. The gunshot pierced both of her legs.

Ahearn left the area in the mail truck, which the victim's purse and personal belongings were still inside of, as well as a large amount of U.S. mail.

Records state that his co-defendant, Sarah Richford, followed him in a dark-colored Toyota Venza.

Two days later, officials said, a U.S. Postal Inspector attempted to initiate a stop on Ahearn, who was in the Venza, at a restaurant near where the shooting took place, but was unsuccessful, and Ahearn fired a gun in the direction of the federal officer before leading another federal agent on a 19-mile high-speed pursuit.

The DOJ said Ahearn and Richford managed to avoid being captured.

On Feb. 14, employees at an area motel notified investigators of a large amount of mail, which was destined for Spring Branch, and a handgun case in one of their rooms.

Surveillance video from the motel showed Ahearn, Richford and Piper Lee, 41, leave in a yellow Volkswagen.

Police said when they tried to stop the vehicle, Ahearn began shooting at them and another high-speed chase ensued, resulting in the trio getting away.

Police said they located Ahearn, Richford and Lee in a parking lot of a different motel on Feb. 15 and the three were taken in without incident.

Ahearn pleaded guilty Wednesday to a total of seven charges, including aiding and abetting carjacking, aiding and abetting use of a firearm during a crime, aiding and abetting robbery of U.S. Mail, and four counts of aiding and abetting assault on a federal officer.

Ahearn faces 20 years in federal prison.

The DOJ said Richford is scheduled for a hearing Friday on charges of aiding and abetting carjacking, aiding and abetting use of a firearm during a crime, aiding and abetting robbery of U.S. Mail, and two counts of aiding and abetting assault on a federal officer.

Lee, who is also facing multiple charges, is set for jury selection Aug. 20.

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