'Incredibly dangerous': Philadelphia hitman admits to 6 deadly shootings dating back to 2016

A Philadelphia man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after prosecutors say he admitted to carrying out six murders, four of which were as a hitman for a drug trafficker. 

Ernest Pressley, 42, was arrested in September 2018 after local and federal authorities connected him to the murder of a victim identified as "S.S." According to investigators, the man was found shot to death in the parking lot of a Philadelphia apartment complex near the 7400 block of Malvern Avenue days before the arrest.

Surveillance footage showed Pressley with the victim and other men the night before the deadly shooting. Pressley was arrested on Sept. 7 and investigators soon found him to be responsible for several other murders, including the shooting deaths of two Philadelphia tow truck drivers

Prosecutors say one of the tow truck drivers who Pressley was paid to kill in January 2017 was set to testify at a Philadelphia assault trial. In order to cover up the motive for the slaying, investigators say Pressley randomly picked another driver to kill in order to create the illusion of an ongoing feud between rival truck companies. 

"By his own admission, Ernest Pressley is an incredibly dangerous individual with no qualms about accepting money to calculatedly and cold-bloodedly murder anyone," said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero. 

Investigators later found that Pressley shot a man - identified by authorities as M.R. - while he worked on his car in a garage near the intersection of East Sharpnack and Baldwin streets. The murder of ‘M.R.’ happened a day before Pressley shot and killed the truck drivers. 

During a Wednesday court hearing, Pressley admitted that the four murders were at the bidding of a Philadelphia drug trafficker. Pressley’s conviction by way of his guilty plea carries a mandatory life sentence in prison. 

Pressley's murderous track record stretches back to 2016, when prosecutors say he admitted to shooting someone to death as they sat on the front porch of a Philadelphia home. He also admitted to providing the location of a man he knew was wanted dead by a Philadelphia drug trafficker, which later resulted in a mistaken identity killing. 

Prosecutors say Pressley ransacked a Philadelphia woman's home and tried to kill her when she arrived at the residence. Pressley tried to sell a Rolex watch taken from the woman's home at a Philadelphia pawn shop.

"He admitted to murdering six people and trying to kill a seventh," Jacqueline Maguire from Philadelphia's FBI division said. "He’s an obvious menace with zero respect for human life and the city is unequivocally safer with him behind bars."