Steven Pratt, a man who had just finished serving a 30-year prison sentence for murder, killed his mother mere days after his release.
According to the Associated Press, Pratt, 47, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murdering his mother two days after he completed a 30-year prison sentence for killing a neighbor.
Pratt is accused of killing Gwendolyn Pratt, 64, at their Atlantic City home in October 2014, two days after the woman picked up the man from prison and threw him a welcome home party.
According to the autopsy report, the man’s mother died of massive from massive blunt-force trauma to her head.
— UJReview (@UJReview) February 18, 2016
In 1984, Pratt was accused of shooting and killing his next-door neighbor Michael Anderson in an apartment building and was tried as an adult. He was convicted of the murder in 1986.
According to court records, Pratt and Anderson entered into an argument over Pratt being too boisterous in the hallway of the apartment building where the two lived. Pratt and some of his friends reportedly refused to leave an apartment hallway where they were hanging out and making too much noise.
The argument escalated and Pratt eventually went back to Anderson’s apartment with a lead pipe, where Anderson took the pipe away from Pratt and bloodied his face.
Pratt, who killed his mother Gwendolyn in New Jersey on Friday, told a court today: “I don’t want a trial. I’m guilty.”
— Total Crime (@totalcrime) October 15, 2014
As tensions mounted even further, Pratt returned with a borrowed handgun and shot Anderson in the face and shoulder, the court records show. Anderson died several days after the shooting.
In the court documents, Pratt said Anderson had “been like a father to him.”
Pratt tearfully told a judge Wednesday that he did kill his mother and didn’t want a trial.
According to philly.com, Pratt sobbed during Wednesday’s court proceedings and seemed eager to skip the arraignment altogether and head back to prison, the place he’s called home for 30 years.
Pratt told Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio that he just wanted to move on.
“I don’t want a trial. I’m guilty.”
According to the the woman’s brother, Gwendolyn Pratt lived a simple, quiet life in Atlantic City, where she had worked at Resorts Casino Hotel since 1989. He said she had been excited about her son’s release and had taken him to IHOP immediately after she picked him up from Bayside State Prison.
Steven Pratt, convicted murderer, ‘clubbed his 64-year-old mother Gwendolyn to death’ just two days after release… http://t.co/G0eQDOtO6p
— News This Second (@NewsThisSecond) October 13, 2014
The man who killed his mother reportedly served out his original sentence with little incident, and family members said he seemed “upbeat” when they visited him in prison through the years. According to philly.com, Prisoner disciplinary records are not public record, but department spokesman Matt Schuman said Pratt had not had any additional sentences applied to his initial term.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Corrections said prisoners are provided with transitional services prior to release.
Pratt was sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence and must serve 25 percent of that sentence before he’ll be eligible for parole.
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