A letter provider named Angela Summers was delivering mail on her regular route when she walked previous a home the place the Postal Service had just lately stopped delivering due to issues a couple of canine on the property.
Upset that the mail had been stopped, a resident of that home, Tony Cushingberry, pursued Ms. Summers and fatally shot her on his road in Indianapolis on April 27, 2020, federal prosecutors mentioned.
On Wednesday, Mr. Cushingberry, 24, was sentenced to 30 years in jail for murdering Ms. Summers, 45.
Paul Toms, president of Department 39 of the Nationwide Affiliation of Letter Carriers in Indianapolis, mentioned in an interview on Thursday that the sentence was justified.
“She couldn’t ship the mail due to the canine and that irritated this younger man and he did the unthinkable,” Mr. Toms mentioned.
He famous that Ms. Summers, a union steward who had joined the Postal Service about 15 months earlier than she was killed, had a teenage daughter and had not but certified for the union’s life insurance coverage plan.
“The courtroom case has come to an in depth, however it’s by no means going to be closed — not for her household or letter carriers,” Mr. Toms mentioned. “She was a part of our household.”
In line with a felony grievance, the native put up workplace had despatched a letter to Mr. Cushingberry’s home two weeks earlier than the capturing saying that the mail must be picked up on the put up workplace due to issues a couple of canine on the property. Such letters are usually not uncommon, in accordance with Mr. Toms.
On the day she was killed, Ms. Summer season was delivering mail on Mr. Cushingberry’s road when she walked previous his home as he watched her from his porch, prosecutors mentioned.
Mr. Cushingberry “aggressively approached” Ms. Summers on a neighbor’s porch and demanded his mail a number of instances, prosecutors mentioned.
He continued to pursue Ms. Summers, who finally reached for her can of Mace and sprayed Mr. Cushingberry, in accordance with courtroom paperwork.
Mr. Cushingberry pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot Ms. Summers within the chest from a number of toes away, the paperwork state. She collapsed on a neighbor’s porch and was taken to a hospital in important situation. She died that night.
Mr. Cushingberry fled after the capturing and stashed the gun within the storage of a close-by dwelling, prosecutors mentioned.
United States Postal Service inspectors and Indianapolis law enforcement officials searched Mr. Cushingberry’s home and located a protected that contained containers of ammunition, together with the caliber and model of fired cartridge casing that matched the gun he used, prosecutors mentioned.
After the capturing, Mr. Cushingberry instructed investigators that he had by no means spoken to Ms. Summers earlier than and had solely “needed to scare her,” in accordance with courtroom paperwork.
Mr. Cushingberry pleaded guilty last July to second-degree murder.
Sara Varner, his lead lawyer, mentioned in an announcement that the courtroom, in handing down a sentence of 30 years, didn’t give adequate weight to Mr. Cushingberry’s “historical past of trauma and poverty and ensuing post-traumatic stress dysfunction, his underdeveloped mind on the time of the capturing, his youth, the truth that he had completely no felony historical past,” and comparable circumstances of second-degree homicide.
“Homicide is all the time critical,” Ms. Varner mentioned, “however this sentence doesn’t characterize justice.”
Mr. Cushingberry was the primary individual in his household to graduate from highschool and a “doting father to his toddler son,” Ms. Varner mentioned.
“His regret and deep remorse for what he did was mirrored in his responsible plea and assertion to the courtroom at sentencing,” she mentioned.
After Ms. Summers was killed, native postal employees organized a memorial journey that drew a whole bunch of motorcyclists and raised $72,000 for her daughter, Mr. Toms mentioned. Postal employees on the union’s nationwide conference raised one other $27,000, he mentioned.
Zachary A. Myers, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of Indiana, mentioned in an announcement that Ms. Summers was “a beloved member of the family and public servant, and he or she must be alive at this time.”
“No time period of imprisonment will deliver Angela again,” he mentioned, “however the sentence imposed at this time demonstrates that those that kill will face judgment and accountability.”