Jackson County man accused of assaulting mail carrier

GULFPORT -- A federal grand jury has indicted a Jackson County man on charges accusing him of assaulting a mail carrier, according to U.S. District Court records.

Court papers say Byron Wilson on Aug. 26 used a shotgun to assault a mail carrier in Jackson County.

Wilson pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance.

His attorney, Calvin Taylor, said the entire incident was "clearly a misunderstanding."

Wilson, Taylor said, is a respiratory therapist who works at night and sleeps during the day. He said Taylor was sleeping when he heard a noise, got up and went outside with a shotgun.

The mail carrier, Taylor said, had gone to the Wilson's back door to deliver a package.

"As opposed to putting the package in the mail box on the street, she knocked on the back door," Taylor said. "He thought something wasn't right. He was alarmed. There had been some other home invasions during the day in that area. That's what he thought it was."

During an initial court appearance, Wilson waived the formal reading of the indictment. The government has also filed a criminal forfeiture in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams did not seek detention for the accused.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker set Wilson's bond at $25,000.

Wilson is set to go to trial on the Feb. 1 court calendar.

If convicted, Wilson could face prison time from a year up to 20 years.