A convicted murderer beat his mother to death during an argument, just two days after he was released from jail, according to authorities. The murder took place in her Atlantic City, New Jersey, home.
The police told The Press of Atlantic City that Steven Pratt, 45, is undergoing murder charges for a second time after he was released from jail for less than 48 hours.
Investigators discovered Gwendolyn Pratt, 64, dead in her home Sunday morning. They said she appeared to have died of severe head injuries. Steven Pratt was arrested in the home when they found his mother’s dead body.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said an autopsy performed on Gwendolyn’s body by the state’s medical examiner’s office determined she died of massive blunt injuries to the head.
Her son is being held on $1 million cash bail in the Atlantic County jail.
The Associated Press reports that Steven Pratt was released from prison Friday after serving a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder.
Pratt was convicted in 1986 of the 1984 murder of his neighbor Michael Anderson. Although he was15 years old at the time, Pratt was tried as an adult.
According to court records, Pratt and Anderson got into an argument in the hallway of an apartment building after Anderson asked Pratt and some friends to disperse because they were making noise. Pratt returned to Anderson’s apartment with a lead pipe, but Anderson took it from him and hit Pratt in the face. Pratt then returned with a handgun and shot and killed Anderson.
Ruan Tilghman-Pugh, a neighbor of Gwendolyn, said the family had just thrown a welcome-home party for her son after his release.
Tilghman-Pugh said he overheard Steven ask a cousin if he could stay with him because he was arguing with an aunt with whom he had been staying.
“He said, ‘Cuz, I need to live with you. Aunt CeCe, she be on me,’” Tilghman-Pugh said.
“It’s so devastating,” the neighbor said of Gwendolyn’s death. “You just never know what people are going through.”
Sources: The Press of Atlantic City, Huffington Post (AP Story)
Photo Source: Huffington Post