A Philadelphia contract killer admitted to the deaths of six people over three years, four of whom he gunned down on orders from a drug trafficker, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Ernest Pressley, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, four counts of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire and other crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Pennsylvania said in a news release.
Pressley also admitted to the attempted murder of a woman four years ago, the release said.
Charging documents and court filings detailing the crimes were unsealed Wednesday. Pressley's guilty plea and conviction carry a mandatory life sentence in prison, the release said.
“By his own admission, Ernest Pressley is an incredibly dangerous individual with no qualms about accepting money to calculatedly and cold-bloodedly murder anyone,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said in a statement.
Pressley carried out the killings from 2016 to 2018. He was arrested on Sept. 7, 2018, six days after he fatally shot a person identified in the release only as S.S. in a Philadelphia apartment complex parking lot, authorities said.
Pressley later admitted to killing two tow truck drivers in January 2017. He fatally shot one of them, identified as K.F., to prevent the person from testifying as a witness in an assault trial, the release said.
He gunned down the other driver, identified as E.R., after he randomly selected the victim to make it appear as if the killing were linked to a feud between two truck companies, the release said.
Pressley admitted killing a man who was working on a car at a garage the same month, the release said.
In 2016, Pressley fatally shot another man sitting on a porch and, two years later, provided the location of a person wanted dead by a Philadelphia drug trafficker, the release said. That information led to the mistaken-identity killing of a person identified as Y.H., the release said.
A lawyer for Pressley couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.