Weaverville Man Pleads Guilty In Mail Carrier Incident

Jaden Isaiah Garay, of Weaverville has admitted guilt in federal court for charges related to a 2023 shooting and carjacking of a mail carrier in Madison County. According to legal records, on September 5, 2023, Garay had a dispute with his mother and stepfather before stealing their loaded Glock handgun and several additional loaded magazines.

At around 11:50 a.m. that day, Garay was driving eastbound on Interstate 26 near the Mars Hill exit when he fired his gun into another vehicle. He shattered the front passenger window, leaving a bullet in the vehicle. Neither of the two vehicle occupants was injured. Garay then left Interstate 26 and entered Mars Hill, where cameras recorded his movements. He parked in a dental office parking lot on South Main Street and continued on foot into a nearby residential area. He entered a home on Spring Drive and confronted the homeowner. He took her cell phone and attempted to destroy it. Garay also threatened the homeowner’s dog and demanded she kneel, but she refused and told him he’d have to shoot her while she stood. Garay attempted and failed to steal the car from the garage, then left the house and continued through the neighborhood. He then met US mail carrier Teresa Ramsay and told her he was being chased by “evil spirits.” Ramsay said she would pray with him after finishing her work. Garay demanded her car, pointed the Glock at her and shot her in the face. Ramsay fell out of her vehicle, and Garay stole it, later dumping most of the stolen mail in a Weaverville driveway. Garay spent the rest of the day driving and walking around Asheville.

Around 7 p.m., police located Ramsay’s stolen vehicle on Interstate 40 headed towards Marion and started pursuit. Garay reached speeds up to 95 miles per hour in his attempt to escape. At around 7:30 p.m., officers deployed “stop sticks” near mile marker 95. Garay struck the stop sticks but continued driving. He exited the highway and evaded officers for three miles. Eventually, he reached a dead end, where he abandoned Ramsay’s Jeep and spent the night in a wooded area. The next morning, Garay surrendered to law enforcement and stated he was sorry and wasn’t in a clear state of mind. A sentencing date for Garay has not been scheduled at this time.