Victim’s Voice: “I could have lost my daughter”

District Attorney Hillar Moore said for sure, he is looking at the habitual offender statute for the suspect.

Meanwhile, the father of the mail lady violently beaten and stabbed is speaking out: “Protect yourself because that’s what it’s coming to in Baton Rouge. I’ve been in Baton Rouge all my life and I’ve only seen it getting worse and worse. You would never hear about a shooting or death every single day like you do now.”

Holding back tears, the father of a 27-yr-old woman is speaking out hoping to warn people in Baton Rouge of the increasing daily crime.

“Not in a million years did I think my own daughter would be the victim of a violent crime and dragged out of her car while working. It’s hard to realize that people just don’t value another life nowadays.”

In order to protect the young woman, Unfiltered with Kiran is not releasing her name or her father’s name.

The 27-yr-old is the mail lady who was violently attacked on Dec. 31st while delivering the mail at the Audubon Park Apartments on Mount Pleasant Rd.

Her alleged attacker, Lionel Haile, 28, was arrested for attempted second degree murder. Unfiltered with Kiran has learned Haile has a violent and lengthy criminal past (Haile’s past continues below).

The young lady’s father recounted what happened that Dec. 31st morning according to his daughter.

“Usually when she arrived at work, the front office of the apartment complex would be open and she would go in and grab a bottle of water or use the bathroom. They were all friends, the people working in the office and my daughter.

This particular day, the office was not open just yet when she arrived to start putting the mail in the slots. Instead, she saw this specific man riding around on a bicycle and they made small talk. He said to her, ‘So you’re the mail lady huh.’ She asked him for a bottle of water and he kept hanging around. She said, ‘So you going to help me out or not?’ He started coming up closer thinking she was talking about helping with the mail. She told him, ‘No, no. I got this, I meant with the bottle of water.’ That’s when he left to go get water. By the time he went to go get a bottle of water, she took a tray of mail and started putting it into the slots. 

He gets the bottle of water and comes back. Apparently, she’s in the mailroom putting the mail in the slots and she walked out. She gets the water from him and says, ‘Thank you so much. You’re the MVP of the day.’

She goes to her vehicle, sits in her passenger seat and puts the water in the cupholder and that’s when he starts attacking her. At some point, he grabs her by her legs and drags her out of the vehicle. That’s when she’s kicking him off and was trying to get away.

He stabbed her on the back of her leg right above the knee in the thigh area. At that point, she didn’t even know she had been stabbed. She was still kicking him away. She was able to get up on her feet and run away. She saw a gentleman’s vehicle and jumped in to get away, but then she told him she needed to go back saying she left all the mail and the mailboxes open. That young man took her back and she shut the mailboxes, got the container of mail and put it in her CRV. She then drove to the Shell station where she stopped and parked her car with the young man who gave her a ride still following her.”   

The mail lady did not have an actual USPS mail truck she used to deliver the mail in. Instead, her father said she had been using her personal vehicle, a silver colored Honda CRV with USPS identification all over it ever since she started working for USPS about seven years ago.

The entire incident was caught on video. Her father said his daughter’s USPS bosses watched the video, cried and said, “She was fighting for her life. She was frantically kicking him.”

“I got a call from her boyfriend. Prior to all this happening, she was texting with him. But then when he hadn’t heard from her in a while, he called her. When he found out, he called me and I ran to the hospital.”

The father said the young man who helped his daughter had to be in his early 20’s and it scared him to death. “You could just see it in his face. He didn’t know what was going on when a woman with blood all over her leg came up to her. I would love to meet him some day for helping my daughter, not turning her away but instead staying to help her.”

Despite being stabbed, the mail lady told her father something told her to go back to where she was putting all the mail in the slots because all the apartment mailboxes were still open. “I was thinking about my job still, people’s mail, I didn’t want to get in trouble for that. She was concerned because she takes pride in her job. That was one of her concerns to protect the mail.” Her father added she absolutely loves working for the USPS.

As to how she is doing since the attack, “She’s doing well. She’s still sore physically. She’s not in any severe pain but her whole leg from her calf to her upper thigh was all black and blue and bruised up. She’s limping around on it but she’s getting by. This girl is beautiful. It’s my daughter so I can say this is one of the most beautiful girls you would ever lay your eyes on. Why would anyone want to hurt her? My daughter told me she didn’t know this guy, had never seen him before in her life.

Since this has happened, I’ve been in pure hell. She’s not coping with it very well. She’s behaving differently now. She talks differently. You would expect paranoia but I’m not seeing all that. I should be seeing a person who would be scared but I feel she’s holding it all in.

I’ve cried every day, every single day. It wears you out to think about this daily. Anytime I wake up, it doesn’t matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, it constantly stays on my mind. It wears you out to worry like that. To me, this is all just getting started when it comes to things like court and what not. I’m not used to all this in my life.

The thought goes through my mind that I could have lost my daughter. We pray a lot.

My advice to people is watch your back when you’re out, know your surroundings & who is around you. Don’t conversate with strange people but if someone wants to do something to you, they’re going to do it. Protect yourself because that’s what it’s coming to in Baton Rouge. I’ve been in Baton Rouge all my life and I’ve only seen it getting worse and worse. You would never hear about a shooting or death every single day like you do now.

Not in a million years did I think my own daughter would be the victim of a violent crime and dragged out of her car while working. It’s hard to realize that people just don’t value another life nowadays.”

HAVE YOU BEEN A VICTIM? SUBMIT YOUR VICTIM’S VOICE STORY

When it comes to the suspect, Lionel Haile, the mail lady’s father said, “I think he should be locked up the rest of his life. If you try to take someone’s life, I think you should be locked up for the rest of your life. I don’t really have anything for this guy. He has no consideration for life for anyone to do something like this. I don’t care what his motive was. I still want to know what his motive was for doing that.”

LIONEL HAILE, 28

Lionel Haile’s Past

Haile, a convicted felon, has a lengthy criminal past in Louisiana and is currently locked up with a $150,000 bond.

In March 2017, Haile pleaded “nolo contendere” to four different charges stemming from Aug. 2015: aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon, and three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. He was 22 at the time of the crime. He was sentenced to five years behind bars in the custody of the Louisiana Dept. of Corrections.

According to documents, Judge William Carmichael in the 20th JDC explained to Haile what the habitual offender statute was and Haile answered that he did understand.

He was released from prison and DOC custody in 2018 after serving his five years.

In separate incidents dating back to December 2016, Haile was arrested on several charges:

  • 4 counts aggravated criminal damage to property
  • 4 counts simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling
  • 1 count attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling

Those charges stem from late Dec. 26, 2016 into the early morning hours of Dec. 27, 2016 according to records where Haile is accused of breaking into homes and stealing things like a laptop and keys and damaging vehicles parked in homeowners’ garages by driving into them. There were at least eight incidents where East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies tracked the suspect back to Haile.

Now, Haile is accused of attempted second degree murder of a mail lady, which could constitute federal charges as well.

He’s locked up with a bond of $150,000.

“We are well aware of the serious charges against Lionel Haile. We are awaiting the full report before making a formal charging decision. We are also aware of his criminal past including crimes of violence,” said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore.

Moore said for sure, he is looking at the possibility of the habitual offender statute for Haile but added there are numerous things to consider before someone qualifies to be charged as a habitual offender.

“Based on this defendant’s past convictions, he is surely eligible to be charged as a habitual offender but that depends on whether he’s convicted of this latest offense or not. The level of habitual offender determines the sentence if he’s either a 3rd felony offender of 4th, he could receive an additional half sentence he would receive for the instant charge,” said Hillar.

He explained that as if someone is given 20 years on the original charge (in this case, attempted second degree murder), if he’s a 3rd felony habitual offender, you automatically add half of that sentence to it. In the example, it would be a total of 30 years. If it’s 40 years for the original charge, you would add 20 years, etc…

However, if someone is a 4th felony habitual offender, that could mean life in prison. 

Haile has been convicted three times and the current arrest, if convicted, could be his 4th conviction. 

About Kiran Chawla 574 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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