KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCBD) – Two people have been charged in a six-count federal indictment for the murder of an employee with the US Postal Service back in 2019.
According to United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., 22-year-old Trevor Raekwon Seward and 28-year-old Jerome Terrell Davis were charged for their rolls in the shooting death of Irene Pressley, 64, along her mail route in a rural area of Williamsburg County.
A third defendant, Ricky Jesus Barajas, 28, of Santa Rosa, California, was charged alongside Seward and Davis for a drug conspiracy, and Barajas and Davis were charged for use of a communication facility to commit a drug offense on the date of the murder, according to a news release on Wednesday.
“First and foremost, my heart goes out to Ms. Pressley’s family for their profound loss. She was an exceptional woman who spent a lifetime in service of her community,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “This indictment alleges one of the most serious crimes in the criminal justice system: murder. It marks the result of exhaustive efforts by our federal, state, and local partners to investigate every facet of this case, and to do right by Ms. Pressley and her family. This office will continue to rely on these partnerships and use every tool at our disposal to aggressively prosecute violent crimes against the citizens of South Carolina.”
“One of the top priorities of the United States Postal Inspection Service is to protect postal employees, and when one of our postal family members is attacked, we do not rest until the perpetrator is caught,” said Tommy D. Coke, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “This investigation demonstrated the strength of multiple communities; through Inspection Service personnel from across the country who joined together with our local law enforcement partners to deliver justice, from the local community which showed resiliency amidst tragedy, and from the postal family who continued to proudly serve the community despite the terrible loss of one of their own.”
Authorities say Pressley was found dead inside her vehicle along her route in Andrews. She had worded for the US Postal Service for more than two decades.
Seward and Davis were initially arrested in the weeks following September 23 on state charges related to Pressley’s murder.
Documents that were filed with the state court show Seward and Davis allegedly shot Pressley multiple times with a semi-automatic weapon in an attempt to steal a package that contained marijuana.
Investigators said numerous shell casings were found at the scene of the shooting and forensic laboratory results from the United States Postal Inspection Service indicated at least one fingerprint on a mail parcel that connected Seward to the murder.
The federal charges come after an extensive joint federal, state, and local investigation involving more than 70 law enforcement officers.
Seward and Davis are charged with killing Pressley “with premeditation and malice aforethought” while she was engaged in her official duties as a mail carrier and were charged with obstructing the delivery of United States mail by means of actual or threatened force.
Additionally, Seward is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and causing the murder of Pressley by shooting her.
Both men, along with Barajas, are charged in a marijuana distribution conspiracy; and Davis and Barajas are charged with using a telephone to facilitate the drug conspiracy on the date of the murder.
According to McCoy’s office, Seward and Davis face life in federal prison if convicted, and Barajas faces a maximum possible penalty of five years in federal prison.
No final decision has been made regarding whether the Government will seek the death penalty.