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Man Convicted of Abducting Mail Carrier

May 14, 2003

MIAMI (AP) _ A man who abducted a mail carrier in her truck and led police on a slow-speed chase was convicted of kidnapping Wednesday after a jury rejected his claim that he was legally justified because his children were in danger.

Nevia Abraham, 38, could get life in prison at sentencing July 17.

Abraham seized postal employee Tonya Mitchell at gunpoint in January and set off an aimless, nationally televised chase around the Miami area that ended when police laid spikes in the road to puncture the truck’s tires. Abraham finally released Mitchell and surrendered.

Abraham testified that he wanted to use Mitchell to get into his ex-girlfriend’s house. He said he planned to have the carrier ask the ex-girlfriend for her signature on a package.

He said he was trying to get two of his preschool children away from the former girlfriend, who he claimed had threatened to kill herself and the youngsters.

The federal jury also convicted Abraham of assault and weapons charges.

``I hope that everybody realizes that Nevia thought he was doing the right thing,″ defense attorney Jim Lewis said. ``He was trying to save his children. Sometimes we do the wrong things for the right reasons.″

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