December 10, 2023

MARSHALL – The Buncombe County man charged with attempted murder in a Mars Hill carjacking made his first court appearance Sept. 8.

Jaden Garay, 23, of Weaverville, appeared in Madison County Superior Court before Judge Gary Gavenus on charges of attempted first-degree murder. Authorities say he carjacked the vehicle of a Mars Hill U.S. Mail worker Sept. 5 before being captured early Sept. 6 in Morganton after a manhunt went on through the night.

Jessica Adams, an investigator with the U.S. Postal Service, said Teresa Ramsay, a mail carrier in Mars Hill, was shot in the carjacking and was at Mission Hospital.

According to her Facebook page, Ramsay began working for the U.S. Postal Service in 2017.

Garay’s next court date in Madison County is scheduled for Oct. 9, but Madison County Criminal Court Clerk Lisa Cody said she thinks federal prosecutors may intervene and pick up the case.

Garay is being represented by Asheville-based attorney James Rice.

Rice told The News-Record that given the nature of the charges, “it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibilities that the feds would pick it up,” but that he hadn’t heard anything to confirm that to be the case.

Rice also said he did not want to comment on the case, as it is still in the discovery process and he wants to take some time to figure out the specifics of the case and what happened on that day, Sept. 5.

Garay is currently being held at the Madison County jail on a $2 million secured bond.

Community’s fundraising efforts for Ramsay

Ramsay’s daughter, Scarlet Ramsay, started a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs associated with Ramsay’s injury.

On the page, Scarlet Ramsay also detailed the injuries sustained by her mother. She said her mother underwent surgery Sept. 8 to remove her left eye and perform facial reconstruction, saying “her surgery went well,” and that doctors removed her breathing tube.

“She is slowly waking up and becoming aware of her surroundings,” Scarlet Ramsay said Sept. 8 via the GoFundMe page.

“We will continue to give updates as we can. Though there’s a lot left unknown still, we have high hopes for her recovery. Please continue to send all the prayers, good vibes and loving energy her way. She has a long road to recovery but is one of the strongest souls we all know.”

More: Update: Mars Hill carjacking suspect charged with attempted murder, Sheriff’s Office says

More: Mars Hill University lockdown lifted after suspected carjacking of U.S. Mail vehicle

According to the post, Teresa Ramsay was scheduled to have additional surgery Sept. 11. As of 5 p.m. Sept. 11, more than 320 people donated $18,200 to the fundraiser, available at

Johnny Casey is the Madison County reporter for the News-Record and Sentinel. Email him at

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: $18K raised for Madison postal worker shot in carjacking

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