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Brown faces sentencing, Sims faces trial in postal worker killing

By Staff
IN MEMORY n Brenda Rogers' family looks through photographs shortly after the postal carrier was killed last year. From the left are Roger's parents, Al and Bonnie Barber; her sister, Teresa Wedgeworth; and her aunt, Norma Tingle. Michael D. Sims, one of the men charged with murder, is set for trial next month. Photo by File photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 19, 2001
Lauderdale County resident Thaddeus Brown is expected to be sentenced late this month on charges related to the October 2000 shooting death of Bailey postal carrier Brenda Rogers.
And next month, Lauderdale County resident Michael D. Sims is set to go to trial in federal court for the same case. Sims is charged with capital murder and, if convicted, could face the death penalty.
Sims, Thaddeus Brown and a third man, Lakendrick Brown of Easter Gardens, were arrested after Rogers' body was found Oct. 3 in a small house in Kemper County. Rogers, 49, a Center Hill resident, regularly drove a mail route into Kemper County.
A federal grand jury indicted Sims and Thaddeus Brown on capital murder and carjacking charges. Thaddeus Brown pleaded guilty June 7 to carjacking resulting in death; he is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27.
Lakendrick Brown, whose case has not been presented to a grand jury, is charged as an accessory after the fact. Lakendrick Brown is accused of helping the other men dispose of items allegedly taken from the house where Rogers' body was found.
Lakendrick Brown was freed from jail on bond in February; it's unclear if the state or federal government will prosecute him.
Sims was arrested and taken into custody last year, less than 12 hours after investigators from eight law enforcement agencies began to piece together clues from the crime scene. Thaddeus Brown was arrested two days after Rogers' body was discovered.
Both men are accused of burglarizing the Kemper County home where Rogers' body was found. They also are accused of abducting Rogers in order to steal her gas and then shooting her nine times in a bedroom of the home they allegedly burglarized.
Neighbors began a door-to-door search for Rogers after a woman reported she heard Rogers scream and witnessed her abduction from her postal car.
State officials announced the conclusion of the case 72 hours after Rogers' body was discovered. The investigation included a team of 15 investigators from eight law enforcement agencies who conducted more than 50 interviews in a two-day period.
Officials say they are confident of a conviction. Evidence includes fingerprints taken at the crime scene and the probable murder weapon, a 9 mm handgun found in a wooden area of Kemper County.
Sims' trial is expected to take place in federal court in Meridian before U.S. District Judge Tom Lee.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.