SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Vivian man will serve more than 11 years in federal prison for stabbing a pregnant postal worker in 2021.

A federal grand jury indicted 28-year-old Derrick Thomas in September 2021 on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Thomas pleaded guilty to the charges on March 22.

According to court records, it happened on August 12, 2021, after Thomas spotted the letter carrier as he sat outside the abandoned house in Vivian where he was living and the pregnant mail carrier passed by while she was beginning her mail route.

The postal carrier returned to her vehicle and attempted to drive off, but Thomas flagged her down.

Concealing a ten-inch butcher knife, Thomas approached the vehicle and stabbed the postal worker. She was five months pregnant at the time.

She was stabbed in the right front shoulder and drove away before Thomas could stab her a second time.

The woman reported the incident to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Thomas was charged with assault with a deadly weapon when the USPIS investigation determined he was the perpetrator.

“Our federal employees and contractors must feel safe while in the course and scope of their employment,” U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown said. “This is especially true when our employees are working in rural areas where law enforcement resources are limited. This defendant, without provocation, committed a violent, inexcusable crime and deserves every day in the jail that the court gave him. We will continue to prosecute those who commit such heinous acts against federal workers.”

Thomas will serve 11 years and five months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.