Man accused of killing mom tells judge he’s guilty

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Steven Pratt broke down sobbing Tuesday as soon as the judge read the charges.

Pratt, 45, faced the arraignment alone, without an attorney, in an empty courtroom Tuesday. He seemed eager to get the proceedings over with and return to the prison from which he had just been released only days prior.

After 30 years, Pratt’s mother, Gwendolyn Pratt, picked him up from Bayside State Prison and even threw him a party at their house in Atlantic City to welcome him home. Pratt is accused of beating her to death less than two days after his release.

In 1984, Pratt shot and killed a neighbor — he was 15 at the time and served 30 years for murder. On Friday, he was released from prison, and on Sunday morning, authorities were called to Gwendolyn Pratt’s home, where they found her dead.

“I don’t want a trial,” Pratt said to Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio during the proceedings. “I’m guilty.”

Donio advised Pratt to wait for an attorney to be present before he spoke, but Pratt continued. “I have no laywer,” he said. “I have nobody.”

In response to hearing that his bail was set at $1 million, Pratt said it “doesn’t matter.” He continued, “I have nothing,” before being led away.

Matt Schuman, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Corrections, said that Pratt did not have any additional sentences added to his initial term, and Pratt’s family reported that he had seemed “upbeat” when they visited him at the prison.