Steven Pratt was released from prison in October 2014, after a 30-year stint behind bars for murdering his neighbor in 1984. He was 15 when the murder happened.
On Feb. 17, Pratt pleaded guilty to another murder, that of his 64-year-old mother, Gwendolyn Pratt, whom he bludgeoned to death two days after he was released from prison, CBS News reported. After he was released, his family threw him a welcome home party, Press of Atlantic City reported.
“It’s so devastating. You just never know what people are going through,” said neighbor Ruan Tilghman-Pugh.
It’s unclear what preceded Gwendolyn’s murder, but she was found dead in her Atlantic City, New Jersey, home, NJ.com reported. Her son was found at the crime scene and he later told the judge in tears that he didn’t want to go to trial because he was guilty, The Associated Press reported.
According to court records from the 1984 murder, the victim, Michael Anderson, was a father figure to Pratt. The two argued when some of Pratt’s friends refused to leave the apartment hallway, then Pratt came to Anderson’s apartment with a lead pipe. Anderson took the pipe from Pratt and bloodied his face, but Pratt left, only to return later with a borrowed handgun. Pratt shot Anderson in the face and shoulder. Anderson died several days later.
Pratt was charged as an adult and the case went to trial two years later, at which point Pratt was convicted on manslaughter. He unsuccessfully appealed the sentence three times.
Pratt was sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering his mother and he must serve 85 percent of that term, or 21 years and three months, before he’s eligible for parole.