Third Suspect in Bungled Mail Heist Case Pleads Guilty

The third and final defendant in that bizarre crime spree last year that involved the shooting of a Spring Branch mail carrier, shots fired at pursuing police and federal agents, and the lock down of North Star Mall has entered a guilty plea, and faces significant federal prison time, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Piper Lee, 41, was allegedly the getaway driver in the case, and he was not charged in connection with the shooting of the mail carrier, who was shot in both legs and is still undergoing rehabilitation.

But Lee faces up to twenty years in prison when he is sentenced in November, the same sentence that was handed out to the gunman, Dennis Ahearn, 24, last month.  A third person, Federal prosecutors say, Sarah Richford, 27, was also present at the shooting.  She pled guilty in February and remains in federal custody pending her sentencing next month. 

She, too, faces twenty years in prison.I

nvestigastors say the three had engaged in a poorly thought out attempt to steal federal income tax refund checks from mailboxes in rural Comal County when Ahearn panicked and shot the mail carrier.  The three led police on a high speed chase, fired shots at officers, fired one shot through the window of a restaurant at Broadway and Loop 410, and finally abandoned their vehicle in the parking garage at the mall, prompting the mall to be locked down.

The three were were arrested in the parking lot of a south side motel, and the stolen mail, all addressed to addresses in the Spring Branch area, was found inside their motel room.

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