HPD releases new details in capital murder of Deborah McGee

HPD releases new details in capital murder of Deborah McGee
Andrew Presley, 53, who was charged with hindering prosecution on April 12, was brought back in Thursday and questioned on evidence in the case, leading to the murder charge. (Photo source: HPD)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Police have released new details in the capital murder investigation of 63-year-old Deborah McGee.

McGee, a teacher at Antonelli College and well-known member of the community, was found dead in her Dewey Street home on March 25. Nearly a month after the murder, police have now released how McGee was killed.

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Capt. Brandon McLemore, with the Hattiesburg Police Department, called the slaying a "heinous crime."

McLemore said in a news conference Friday that McGee was stabbed several times and items were also taken from her home, warranting the capital murder charge.

Police would not elaborate on what exactly was taken.  HPD Spokesman Ryan Moore said some weapons were recovered from the scene that could have been used, however nothing has been confirmed at this time.

Andrew Presley, 53, was charged with capital murder Thursday. He was originally charged with hindering prosecution on April 12.

"Ultimately, I want the public to be aware that we do have the individual responsible for this crime, and he will be facing that penalty, and we will be moving forward for grand jury," said McLemore.

Investigators said Presley has a child with McGee's niece, Ebony Lambert. Lambert, 40, was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution Wednesday.

Niece charged in Dewey St. murder investigation

"The information that she was withholding, by telling lies, coming in here and sending us all on this path here, deterring us from the truth, that's where the hindering prosecution come from," McLemore said of Lambert.

Jordan Stewart, 53, of Hattiesburg, is also charged with hindering prosecution in the case.

Police have not said what may have led to McGee's killing, but McLemore did say it appeared to be domestic related.

"Without getting into details, I guess getting too specific, domestic is the number one cause of homicide.  Having a relationship such as close knit, you have personal problems amongst individuals," said McLemore. "I don't want to get really into exactly what the specific was, but without discussing that in further details, those domestic relationships can cause in the heat of the moment for something to happen."

Presley was arrested on Sunday, March 25, the evening McGee was found dead, on a domestic violence warrant that had to do with Lambert, McLemore said Friday.  During a press conference two days into the death investigation, McLemore said he believed McGee knew who killed her, but didn't release details on any persons of interest.

"At that particular time, he knew some information, but according to him, he had never been there, he had never been at the residence. Now as things came further into the investigation, that's where the hindering came from," said McLemore.

Linda Williams grew up next to McGee on Dewey Street.  The 69-year-old said they lived their for practically their whole lives.

"She was a good friend, a good neighbor," said Williams.  "She was a nice person, she was very firm, she would speak forever, she felt like speaking, she would try to do go by everyone."

Williams said she was out of town when the murder took place, but couldn't believe the news.  She said it also made her worried about her safety, with neighbors and friends telling her to lock her doors and have protection.

"I just couldn't, it couldn't, it just didn't seem real," said Williams. 

Williams said Lambert lived with McGee for some time, but she really didn't know Presley.  Each day, getting a little easier, walking by the empty house next door.

"I miss her from getting in the morning, getting ready to go to work. I miss her coming home at night, I can hear her when she come home or put something in her trash, I hear her and say 'Deborah, is that you out there?' and she say 'yeah, that's me.' I miss her, I miss her, I can't say I don't, I really miss her," said Williams.

WDAM looked into Andrew Presley's criminal record.  According to Mississippi Department of Corrections, Presley has been in and out of jail.  His last "custody end" date was October 18, 2016.

MDOC said Presley also had two robbery charges out of Harrison County, one of those armed.