Steven Pratt weeps in court while answering questions from Superior Court Judge Michael Donio, Tuesday Oct. 14, 2014, in Mays Landing, N.J. Just two days after Pratt, a convicted murderer, was released from prison after serving a 30-year-term, he was arrested Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 and charged in the beating death of his 64-year-old mother, authorities said. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Michael Ein)
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) — A convicted murderer who police say killed his mother two days after being released from prison told a judge that he’s guilty and doesn’t want a trial.
Steven Pratt, 45, told a judge through tears on Tuesday that he doesn’t have a lawyer, before he was taken back to jail on $1 million bail.
Judge Michael A. Donio told Pratt not to speak without an attorney, but he spoke anyway.
“I don’t want a trial,” he said. “I’m guilty.”
Gwendolyn Pratt was found dead Sunday at a home in Atlantic City. Atlantic County prosecutor Jim McClain says that an autopsy determined that she died from massive blunt injuries to the head.
Pratt was 15 when he shot and killed his next-door neighbor, Michael Anderson, in an Atlantic City apartment building in 1984. He was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder in 1986. He received a 30-year prison sentence and was freed on Friday.
According to court records, Pratt and Anderson argued after Pratt and some of his friends refused to leave an apartment hallway where they were noisily hanging out. Pratt came back to Anderson’s apartment with a lead pipe, but Anderson took the pipe away from Pratt and bloodied his face, according to the newspaper.
Pratt then returned with a borrowed handgun and shot Anderson in the face and shoulder. Anderson, who Pratt said acted like a father to him, died days after the shooting.