KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC) - A grand jury returned indictments against three people Tuesday in the September 2019 killing of a U.S. Postal Service employee in Williamsburg County.
U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy made the announcement during a news conference Wednesday morning in Kingstree.
“This will not stand in our backyard, this will not stand in our community,” McCoy said. “We are going to do all we can to bring these folks to justice.”
The Federal Grand Jury returned indictments against Trevor Raekwon Seward, Jerome Terrell Davis and Ricky Jesus Rocha Barajas.
Seward, 22, and Davis, 28, both of Andrews; have been charged in a six-count federal indictment for their alleged roles in the Sept. 23, 2019, murder of postal employee Irene Pressley, along her mail route in rural Williamsburg County in the Andrews area.
Authorities say Seward and Davis allegedly shot Pressley in an attempt to steal a package containing marijuana.
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.
The 64-year-old Pressley, who served her community for 22 years, was found shot to death in her SUV on Morrisville Road.
Seward and Davis were initially arrested in the weeks following Pressley’s killing on state charges related to Pressley’s death.
Pressley’s family attended the news conference.
“We just want to take this opportunity just to say thank you, to everyone that has been working with us, with the family,” Pressley’s sister, Lorine Gibson, said. “We want to thank you for your prayers, because we felt your prayers as we go through this journey and we are going to need you as we go on.”
Gibson says Pressley was the sixth child of 11 siblings.
“Irene was a loving person...Irene took her job seriously she loved what she do and she took her position in the church very seriously as well,” Gibson said.
The Postal Inspector in charge of the Atlanta Division Tommy Coke was also there.
“When one of our postal family members is attacked we do not rest until a perpetrator is caught,” Coke said.
According to documents filed with the state court upon their arrest, just after 3 p.m. on the date of the shooting, Seward and Davis allegedly shot Pressley multiple times with a semi-automatic weapon in an attempt to steal a package containing marijuana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said Seward was arrested on a state murder charge and had reportedly been seen shortly before the incident holding what was believed to be an AR-15. Muliple .223 shell casings were found near the scene, Williamsburg County deputies said.
Investigators said a fingerprint found on the U.S. Postal Service package recovered from the crime scene by the USPS Forensics Division was later confirmed to be that of Seward.
Seward and Davis face a sentence of no less than life in federal prison if convicted, and Barajas faces a maximum possible penalty of five years in federal prison.
United States Postal Inspection Service spokesperson Jessica Adams said during the investigation into Pressley’s killing that the person responsible could face a federal death penalty. No final decision has been made regarding whether the Government will seek the death penalty.