Florence, South Carolina —- Jerome Terrell Davis, 30, of Andrews, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the robbery of a United States Postal Service mail carrier and his role in a marijuana trafficking conspiracy.
Evidence presented by the Government at the change-of-plea hearing established that on September 23, 2019, Davis and his co-defendant Trevor Raekwon Seward were anticipating the delivery of two pounds of marijuana that had been shipped from California through the United States Postal Service. Rather than deliver the package to Seward’s residence in Andrews, mail carrier Irene Pressley placed a form in Seward’s mailbox stating that the authorized recipient would need to come to the post office to claim the package.
Shortly thereafter, Seward left home armed with an AR-15. Davis then picked Seward up and they began searching for Pressley. Davis ultimately dropped Seward off on Senate Road in Andrews, where Seward fired approximately twenty rounds from his AR-15 into the back of Pressley’s vehicle, striking her multiple times. Seward then got into Pressley’s vehicle and drove approximately three miles away, where he left Pressley and her vehicle in a ditch on an access road to a hunt club. While on the access road, Seward removed mail from Pressley’s vehicle and searched through packages for the package intended for his residence or any other items of value. The package of marijuana that had been shipped to Seward’s residence was later found on Senate Road, where Pressley had been shot by Seward.
A jury in United States District Court previously convicted Seward of first degree murder, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and conspiracy to traffic marijuana for his role in the murder and Robbery of Pressley.
United States District Judge Donald C. Coggins accepted Davis’ plea and will sentence Davis after receiving and reviewing a pre-sentence report that will be prepared by the United States Probation Office. Davis faces up to twenty years in prison for the robbery of Pressley and up to five years in prison for the marijuana conspiracy conviction.
“Our office is committed to holding violent criminals accountable for their actions,” said US Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “Our mail carriers are increasingly becoming targets around the country, and we are grateful for the work done by our federal and local partners, particularly the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office, in their efforts to bring justice to the individuals responsible for the robbery and murder of Irene Pressley.”
“The guilty plea by the defendant sends a strong message that the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and our partners will work tirelessly to bring justice against individuals responsible for causing harm to our Postal employees,” said Tommy D. Coke, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “Irene Pressley was a dedicated public servant in her community. I want to sincerely thank our partners for their support and commitment in identifying and holding accountable the individuals involved in this case to the full extent of the law.”
“The robbery and murder of Irene Pressley was a truly senseless act of violence,” said Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen R. Gardner. “With the guilty plea entered by Mr. Davis and the jury’s conviction of Mr. Seward, we are pleased that the individuals who committed such a malicious crime will be held accountable for their actions.”
The case was investigated by agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Nick Bianchi, Katherine Flynn and Elle E. Klein are prosecuting the case.