Prosecutors file federal murder charge against man accused of killing postal carrier

Saturday, December 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Federal prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge Friday against a Tulsa man who allegedly killed a postal carrier as he made his rounds.

Jason M. Weed, 27, was charged under a statute that governs the murder of federal employees who are engaged in their official duties.

Robert W. Jenkins was killed as he was delivering mail at Place One apartments about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday. Weed is charged with acting ``with premeditation and malice aforethought'' in the death of Jenkins, a 30-year-old Broken Arrow resident.

Federal Public Defender Paul Brunton said Friday that he believes federal prosecutors will have a difficult time proving those components of first-degree murder.

Police said Weed was acting irrationally and walked down a street firing rounds in the air before being arrested. If Weed shot Jenkins, ``he probably flipped,'' Brunton said.

A mental evaluation probably will be conducted on Weed before an initial federal court appearance is held.

Such evaluations can take two to three months to conduct before a report is provided to the court to assist it in a decision on whether the defendant is competent to stand trial.

Those found guilty of murdering federal employees _ such as Timothy McVeigh _ can be put to death, but U.S. Attorney David O'Meilia said Friday that such a penalty is not ``alleged or contemplated'' in the complaint against Weed.

Murder cases are rare in federal court, and can involve slayings that occur during certain federal crimes such as drug offenses or robberies, or can take place on federal or American Indian land.

A 35-year-old man was sentenced to 35 years in prison last year for second-degree murder in the death of his father on Indian land near Vinita. The case of Michael Lee Hanson was the first murder case charged in U.S. District Court in Tulsa since 1991.