“A true menace to society” – Philadelphia contract killer gets 5 life sentences for 6 murders

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

A Philadelphia hitman was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences this week in connection with his role in murdering four victims in Philly between 2017 and 2018, all in exchange for money. 43-year-old Ernest Pressley was also convicted for his role in the killing of two other victims in 2016 and 2017 and the attempted murder of a woman in 2018.

“Ernest Pressley is a hardened and chronic offender, a true menace to society,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “For all the lives he took and families he affected, this contract killer has duly earned each of his life sentences.”

In late 2018, the Philadelphia Police Department joined with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate Pressley in connection with the murder of S.S., who was shot to death in the parking lot of a Philadelphia apartment complex near 7400 Malvern Avenue in the early morning hours of September 1, 2018.

Pressley was captured on video surveillance footage near the scene and in footage retrieved from a bar in Philadelphia the evening before when he was with S.S. and several other men. Pressley was arrested in connection with this crime on September 7, 2018.

Killing at random to cover his tracks

Law enforcement's investigation revealed that Pressley was responsible for other murders in Philadelphia, including the killings of two tow truck drivers for A. Bob's Towing on January 12 and 13, 2017.  Pressley agreed to kill tow truck driver K.F. in exchange for money to prevent K.F. from testifying as a witness at an assault trial in Philadelphia.

In an effort to distract law enforcement from the true motivation for K.F.'s murder and to make it appear as though it was connected to a feud between rival tow truck companies, Pressley selected at random one of K.F.'s co-workers, E.R., and shot him to death as he left work on January 12, 2017, near 4500 Melrose Street.

11133960673?profile=RESIZE_400xThe next day, Pressley (right) approached K.F. as he left his home and entered his tow truck, which was being driven by a co-worker, at which time Pressley opened fire, fatally striking K.F. and injuring his co-worker, who was shot several times in his lower body. 

As the investigation developed further, Pressley was also identified as the person who shot M.R. to death in Philadelphia on January 11, 2017, near the intersection of East Sharpnack and Baldwin Streets, while M.R. worked on his vehicle at a garage in the area.

In September 2022, during his guilty plea allocution before Judge Robreno, Pressley admitted that he murdered M.R., E.R., K.F., and S.S. in exchange for money and at the direction of a drug trafficker. Around the time of each crime, Pressley used his cellular phone to communicate with his co-conspirator to plan how and when each murder would be carried out.

Pressley also admitted to shooting C.Y. to death on July 19, 2016, as C.Y. sat on the porch of a residence near 1500 West Olney Avenue in Philadelphia. Pressley also admitted to his role in providing the location of a man he knew was wanted dead by a Philadelphia drug trafficker, which later resulted in the death of Y.H., who was killed as the result of mistaken identity near the intersection of 56th Street and Ithan Street on July 24, 2018.

Finally, Pressley admitted that he attempted to kill a woman when he shot her in the arm as she arrived at her Philadelphia home on North Woodstock Street on July 9, 2018. While the woman survived a gunshot wound, she later discovered that her home had been ransacked and several items, including money and jewelry, were stolen. Several hours later, Pressley was identified as having sold a Rolex watch belonging to the woman at a Philadelphia pawn shop.

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